Dying to eat

I love to eat - and it's killing me - slowly but surely. When I pass a bag of cashews, it's like they wandered too close to a black hole. They gravitationally fly into my mouth until they are entirely consumed...and the cashews find plenty of company in the black hole. Like many, I've tried just about everything to slow down and I've been told that I'm doing just fine by others since I seem to carry extra weight well. But I know deep down that this is truly terrible for my long term heath. So, I've tried:

Calorie Restriction
Metabolic blocking
Metabolic accelerators
Heavy exercise

just about anything that didn't require that I go into "rehab" (ie Weight Watchers et al). Nothing worked. I would lose the weight and then gain it right back.

Until, I got the idea that I should think about obesity as an addiction based disease. With that thought, I decided that the most druglike item in my diet was sugar...so, I reduced my sugar intake by about 98%. The result was minor withdrawal symptoms and missing puddings, lucky charms and pies - but after just 7 days it was not hard at all. This happened in February of 2008, and I've been off sugar and corn fructose syrup since that time. The result has been a terrific improvement in my overall stamina and strength and a loss of 10 pounds in two months. I also worry much less about type 2 diabetes and have terrific blood pressure readings.

BUT, over the next 18 months, I gained all the weight back. Nuts!!

That was the problem - Nuts, chips, fries, pop-corn - in other words, SALT and FATS, usually ingested during "hypnotic eating" while watching TV or surfing the web. Now, since I had and continue to have success in avoiding sugar, and DO still gain benefits from that (I use stevia as a substitute), I decided once again to examine my eating process from the standpoint of addiction. But I didn't know exactly what to do about it until I met a gentlemen who was my age, but totally trim and fit.

He works as an executive for Burger King. Yeah - I know. How could he be so trim working THERE! So I asked him, and he said "I eat once a day, and eat whatever and however much I want at that one meal".

Once a day? This was the last thing I wanted to do.

But, since this body is likely the only one I will ever have, it seemed just plain wrong to continue abusing it. So I have given eating once a day a try. I reasoned that it would be good because it would reduce mechanical and metabolic stresses on my body by getting as close to the health and longevity benefits of Calorie Restriction as possible.

**And it works** - so far. I've lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. The first couple days were tough as you might imagine, and on top of that, folks were telling me that I was doing something dangerous and really what I ought to be doing was eating 7 small meals a day. That doesn't work for me - because eating MAKES me hungry...and leads to more eating. That's why I treat it as an addiction - like overuse of alchohol.

So here's what I'm doing. I eat one meal a day during the week - and I choose which meal it is (usually dinner), and on weekends I eat up to two meals depending on how I feel. The idea that I can eat two meals each day on the weekend gives me something to look forward to, and makes it easier to deal with the social pressure to share meals at weekend gatherings. I look at the scale twice a week maximum to avoid obsessing about it.

So, when I have lost another 10 pounds in the coming months, I will reevaluate the process. It may be that my metabolism will adjust and I will continue with the current schedule and regimen. My HOPE however is that I will be able to go to an every-other-day arrangement where on Monday I eat one meal, Tuesday two meals, alternating in that fashion.

Feel free to ask me how it's going in a week or two - knowing that people will be asking will help me to keep on keeping on.