Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Diet Like A Man *Long Post*

**Side note about pictures of NOLA*** My desktop has gone kaput and sounds like a 747 taking off when I turn it on.  I have to download some software to put pics on my laptop and as soon as I do, I will post some pics here because blogs are always better with pictures!

Anyhoo - I've gotten some questions about how my doctor reacts to a weight gain.  Apparently, some lapband docs can be a little judgemental or harsh when dealing with this and some even use fills as a reward for doing well.  So if you don't lose that month, you don't get a fill because he doesn't think you're working hard enough or something.  This sounds totally counterintuitive to me.  I don't think Dr. Simpson is like that but seeing as I don't have a band yet, I can't say for sure.  I can say that he was very understanding with my gain last week, simply saying that these things happen and that if I had perfect willpower, I wouldn't need the band to begin with.  He also said that weight loss shouldn't be about deprivation and shame because it just leads to a vicous cycle.  He said do your best to PLAN when you're going to have a treat so that you're still in control and can make adjustments leading up to it so that it doesn't completely derail your efforts.  So that's that. 

In light of that conversation with the doc, my husband found an article online that goes into why men lose weight easier than women.  Aside from all the biological differences, there are just some basic psychological and ideological ones that play a big role too.  The full article is here but I'm going to include some excerpts and then my comments in blue...if you care to know what I think about it. LOL. 

1. He doesn't crave sweets

Both men and women have cravings—but his work to his advantage.
While your comfort food is more likely to be sour gummy bears or double-chocolate chip bars, his is a thick, juicy steak. A Cornell University study found that women seek out sweets to ward off the blues but men turn to meat when they want to indulge. Why this gives him a weight-loss advantage: He's eating protein, which will help fill him up (and curb overeating later) far better than your coffee cake will.

Duh.  I know we all know this which is why protein is so important in the bandsters' diet.  Not going to harp on this.

2. He doesn't get upset when he screws up
To avoid this diet-busting mentality, apply the 80 percent rule. "Most guys avoid anything that even smacks of perfectionism," and that applies to dieting, too, says Prevention adviser Pamela Peeke, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "When women start a diet, they go from zero to 100—they become 'perfect' overnight, which is a hallmark of failure. That's why I developed the 80 percent rule: Hit your weight-loss goals 80 percent every single day you can.

It goes on to say sometimes you'll be at 100% and perfect and other times, not so much, but as long as you average out to 80%, you're probably OK.  From what I have seen from successful bandsters' blogs, I believe this holds true.  I know I get too down on myself when I don't do what I need to do and I think this is something I definitely need to work on.

3. He lifts heavy weights
"When a guy goes to the gym, he'll usually pick an exercise that allows him to use the most impressive-looking weights," says Lou Schuler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and author of The New Rules of Lifting. The result: muscle building in less time, and working a range of muscles at once instead of one in isolation. "A woman, on the other hand, will go for light dumbbells and do an exercise that allows her to use perfect form but will do the least amount of good." To wit: The laborious but ineffective 12 triceps exercises women do to try to rid themselves of underarm dangle, says Schuler.

I've heard this time and time again about the strength training.  My husband made me go into the weight room at the last gym we joined.  I was so intimidated by the machines and hated being the only woman in the free weights area.  However, I lost the most weight when I made sure I spent a good 20 minutes doing weight training than if I spent another hour on the treadmill.  They also turned out to be my favorite workouts because I really felt stronger when I left.  Highly recommend this one. 

5. He acts out his anger
Guys are more likely to do something physical to dissipate their negative emotions, like go for an extra-grueling run or pound nails in the garage. Women on the other hand, tend to swallow their feelings—sometimes with an entire row of Oreos. So when you get mad, get moving. Take a Spin class, say, or go for a head-clearing walk. way, this one bugs me.  Go to a spinning class...Ummm...yeah...unless you're a member of a gym, that's not really possible.  But I'm all about the walk and my personal favorite is a punching bag.  We used to have one and while I didn't use it often, it really was a great way to let off steam.

7. He doesn't give up favorite foods
When women diet, we deprive ourselves of all those luscious "forbidden foods" until we can't stand it any longer.

Then we fall like starved dogs on year-old Halloween candy stuck to the back of the freezer

This goes back to what my doc said about how a diet can't be about deprivation.  If you feel you're being deprived, you're making yourself a martyr to the point you think you DESERVE the cookie...not just want the cookie.  This always happens to me at Lent (for noncatholics, this is 40 days where you make a sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed himself for you...ending at Easter with a great big feast. Yum...anyhoo).  I can't have meat on Fridays.  Is that a big deal?  No...however, it's always on Friday that I want a big bacon cheeseburger and I don't even like cheeseburgers!  It's just because it's off limits.

This last tidbit is my favorite -
And choose something fun to distract you when cravings strike. "So many times women are told, 'If you feel like you're going to overeat, distract yourself by cleaning the house,'" says Sass. "That's like torturing yourself." No man in his right mind is going to do chores to keep himself from overeating.

Duh!  I have been told my countless articles, trainers, nutritionists, and "diet experts" that distracting yourself when you're just head hungry is the best means of fighting the craving.  And their suggestions are ALWAYS like the one above as if cleaning the house is what we, as women, do for FUN!  Yeah right.  This is why I'm taking up scrapbooking.  Hopefully, when I feel the need to mindlessly eat, I can work on that hobby as opposed to growing my waistline.

Overall, I think this article makes so much sense!  I think I've been way too hard on myself so until my next weigh in, I have given myself some fairly commonsense rules to stick to (remember..can't lose TOO much because of insurance. argh!) but if I stray, I stray.  I'm not going to beat myself up and I'm also not going to give myself a free check to keep on cheating just because I messed up once. The rules also apply mostly during the week because the weekends are harder to plan.  The rules are as follows:
  1. No SODA!
  2. 64 ounces of water daily
  3. Starbucks allowed once a week!
  4. Lunch out is allowed once a week but must still be a good choice.
  5. 2 hours a week of activity - walking, hiking, cleaning, SOMETHING to get moving
  6. Most of all, just making better CHOICEs
Easy enough, right?


Amy W. said...

Wonderful post! I read all of it :) I have been doing weight training for about 9 months or so, off and on. But we have been going full force since January and do weights 3 days a week for about 40 minutes a day. Adding that third day really seems to have made a difference!

I would NOT want to have a doctor that punishes me for not losing. I mean, that is why we need the band...just like you said!

JustLynda said...

I think your doc is absolutely right...we wouldn't need the band if we were perfect. My doctor didn't react much to my weight gain last month. She just encouraged me to use it as a learning experience--why did I gain and what will I do to avoid gaining the next time I'm in that situation (this one was all about stress). Then she wrote something on her prescription pad and handed it to me. It said, "Smile more." She wanted to make sure I wasn't too hard on myself.

~ Katie ~ said...

I really enjoyed this post...not that I don't normally enjoy them. Helps to have new perspective :)

THE DASH! said...

Hey, really, really good post. I absorbed everything you said! Men DO seem to have a different way of tackling weight loss and it's to their advantage. We def need to take a leaf from their book. Nice going!!

Bonnie said...

Great information. Thanks.

Amanda M. said...

My doctor also said deprivation is not about dieting. He says that diets don't work, and I agree with him. Everytime I tried to not eat, I gained more weight. I really enjoyed your post!

LDswims said...

Great post! I especially love the part about the weightlifting. I wish the myth that if you weightlift you'll bulk up could be dispelled for once and for all. It really doesn't work like that - and weightlifting really works wonders.

Great post!!!

LDswims said...

I just nominated you for an award...check out my blog when you get the chance.

Girl Bandit said...

Great info...thanks for true