Is it a Plateau?
- POSTED ON: Jun 19, 2017

When we talk about plateaus we are talking about lack of WEIGHT loss, but the goal is really FAT loss.  Unfortunately, weight and fat loss don't coincide, especially at the beginning of a diet when the body’s water balance is altered by the smaller amounts of food or new foods that you are eating.

During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop is normal. In part, this is because when you cut calories, the body gets needed energy initially by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen is partly made of water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it releases water, resulting in weight loss that's mostly water. This effect is only temporary.

Everyone wants, and hopes for, fast weight-loss. Unscrupulous “experts” … in books and advertising ... promise dieters more weight-loss than is possible.  It is only possible for the human body to lose a certain limited average amount of fat per week. 

Also the sharp decrease in weight that often happens during the first week or two of dieting raises false and unrealistic expectations that this fast initial weight-loss rate will continue throughout the following weeks.

It’s an unfortunate fact that the bodies of most woman max out at an average of about 2 pounds of fat loss a week, and even this only happens with very active dieting. 

Below are calculator chart examples demonstrating this fact. So if you have 20 pounds of real fat to get rid of,  it will probably take at least 10 weeks, and it often takes 20 or 30 weeks for even a very successful dieter to lose 20 pounds of fat.

After dieting for a while, a woman’s weight can go up and down by 3 pounds between one day and the next ... because of changes in hydration and water balance, ... and for some women, menstrual cycle hormones make water change weight even more than this.

This daily change in water weight makes it genuinely hard to see the comparatively small loss of an ongoing one or two pounds of fat loss per week. 

There are many of methods of dieting … including low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic, intermittent fasting (i.e. everything from fasting between meals to long-term fasting), whole foods, unprocessed foods, food exchanges, portion control 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 for weight-loss the average daily calorie number is the bottom line.

After weight-loss stalls, in order to continue losing weight, one must create a consistent calorie deficit until reaching desired goal. This means one needs to start paying attention to how many calories are consumed and how many are burned.

The best way to begin figuring out how many calories your body is burning is to use an online calorie calculator that gives you the average calorie burn for someone your age and size.  

These calculators are based on mathematical formulas, and a mathematical formula will not necessarily provide an accurate calorie number result for an individual ..... because that number is always the result of AVERAGING

It is very common for people of the same size, age, and activity level to be up to 15% lower or higher than the stated averaged number, and some people will have even a larger percentage of deviation up or down.

Mifflin is currently considered to be the most accurate of these formulas, and that is the one I normally use to run calorie burn numbers.

Here’s a link to a Mifflin online calorie calculator. 

For more Accuracy,
 ....  when I use a calculator to run the Mifflin formula calorie numbers ...
I always enter a person’s activity level as “Sedentary” because using the inexact numbers provided as "Activity calories" greatly increases the chances of an incorrect result.

Exercise has many benefits, but recent research has proven that, despite the marketing claims by the fitness industry, weight-loss usually isn’t one of them.

It is an unfortunate mistake to over-estimate one’s activity level when calculating one’s calories, because while being guided by a calorie number that is too low could result in additional weight LOSS, ... being guided by a calorie number that is too high can result in actual weight GAIN.

Getting an individual calorie burn number from an online calculator is a good place to START, but it is always important to recognize and remember that
YOUR own personal calorie burn could be a lot lower than the number given.

Earlier in this article, I stated that that the bodies of most woman max out at an average of about 2 pounds of fat loss per week, and even this only happens with very active dieting.  People who dispute this unpopular truth aren’t doing the math.


The pictured charts above show calorie calculations for a 50 year old female, 5’4” tall.  These calculations show her Maximum Average Weekly weight-loss potential:

At 170 pounds....... only 651 calories daily to lose 2 lbs per week

At 150 pounds…… only 542 calories daily to lose 2 lbs per week

At 130 pounds…. only 434 calories daily to lose 2 lbs per week.

Remember, all of these calorie numbers are Averages, in that some women of that age and size will have numbers that are Lower or Higher.  Unfortunately, the burn rate numbers of most dieters tend to be either average or lower than average.   This is because most women with a higher burn rate have bodies that are better able to maintain a “normal” weight without dieting.

The term “plateau” is commonly used to describe the fact that weight loss has come to a halt before it was intended.

Sometimes this happens because people forget to adjust their caloric intake down as they lose weight, or they don’t adjust it down enough. People also generally get some muscle loss along with fat loss, which makes their metabolic rate a bit less than they expected it to be.

Sometimes after having some weight-loss success people get a bit more relaxed with the way they track their food intake. They don’t notice some of the things they eat; or they begin to guess at their portion sizes instead of measuring them ... which leads to additional food eaten and a higher calorie intake.

Also, illness, injury or medications can sometimes have an effect on the way someone does or doesn’t lose weight.

An ongoing calorie deficit will always cause fat loss in every human body… eventually. 

Obesity expert, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D. says that physiologically, Plateaus” don’t actually exist.   He says that although it is common for people to experience several weeks, or even a month or more without seeing weight-loss, …. that “unless it is a temporary trick of the scale, …. if you’re not losing, either you’re burning fewer calories than you think; you’re eating more than you think; or some combination thereof”.

The way to track your calorie intake is to accurately count the calories in every bite of your food intake.

Until you get into the habit of doing this, it can seem time-consuming and tedious, but research studies have shown that the more regularly a dieter keeps a food log, the more weight they lose.


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.

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.

Map = Directions
- POSTED ON: Jun 06, 2017

This Contents Directory is a MAP to the features existing here at DietHobby.

The MENU shown in the DietHobby Header and Footer provides links and drop-down boxes directing you to different Sections featured here in DietHobby. Descriptions and links to the individual Sections are also posted below.

BLOG is where I post my ongoing new blog articles.  

ABOUT ME contains specific facts about me and about DietHobby that some may find interesting.

RECIPES contains video recipes of foods I eat in my dieting lifestyle, and I post new recipe videos at random.

DIET WISDOM contains a series of short videos about dieting issues.

WORDS of WISDOM contains a series of brief Inspirational videos, each consisting of a positive statement lasting about 20 seconds.  This section contains individual videos as well as the Words of Wisdom Playlist, in which these videos automatically play back-to-back.

RESOURCES contains many things to help you with your weight-loss and maintenance journey.

  • You will find the answers to Frequently Answered Questions in FAQ. 
  • RESOURCES contains Links to helpful sites and various Diet Books & Tools,
  • The Videos 2 section contains hundreds of related videos, including all videos of me.
  • Personal pictures that you might find interesting are located in the Photo Gallery
  • Contact Me provides my e-mail address.

GRANDMA's HOUSE contains all of the Ask Grandma  videos.

BOOKTALK is for ongoing discussions about specific diet books of my choice.

ARCHIVES is an index listing all of the titles of my past blog articles.

  • Another way to find specific past articles is look on the right-hand side of the computer page (iPhone location = bottom half of page) at the section entitled BLOG ARCHIVES, and click the month to bring up past pages of blog articles.
  • On the right-hand side of the computer page (iPhone location = bottom half of page) you will also find a section entitled BlOG CATEGORIES which groups blog articles under Subject headings.  Clicking the heading of a specific subject will immediately bring up articles relevant to that subject. 

The bottom of each page has a link to my Terms & Conditions which explains my website policies. This contains the Comment Guidelines, and also on that page, under Disclosures, I  explain my attitudes and reasoning about this website.
Clicking around to familiarize yourself with these different sections can be helpful.  
Even if you've been here a long time, you might find new features of which you were unaware.

A Contents Directory Link is located under the SEARCH box on every DietHobby page. Just click the picture to easily see this MAP again.


What Do You Want?
- POSTED ON: Jun 01, 2017

Trying to motivate yourself is a pointless endeavor. 
You want what you want whether or not you think you can have it, and you don’t want what you don’t want whether or not you think you should want it.
Trying to “get motivated” is a side-issue that only diverts our attention from the main question.

Feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why humans do what they do.  We can’t ignore our emotions.  Because of the way our brains are structured, when thoughts and feelings compete, feelings almost always win.  Research shows that fighting our feelings just makes them stronger.

Motivation comes from inside us.  Either we want to do something or we don’t.  If we want to do it, we are already motivated.  If we don’t want to do it, then why would we?









We are often told to make a list of our Goals. 
But most of the things that wind up on that list aren’t ACTUALLY Goals at all.

For example, many people would say they have a goal of making money, but really their goal is the feeling of security and comfort that comes from making more money.  So making more money is actually the STRATEGY, not the goal.

Or take a more personal goal, like being in a serious relationship and/or getting married.  Again, this is a STRATEGY.  Their goal might be to feel a deep connection, and have emotional security.  Having a long-term relationship is a STRATEGY to get them closer to those goals.

In the same way, a goal of becoming Thin is also a STRATEGY. Most likely, the actual goal involves feelings about health, appearance, or relationships.


A goal is the Feeling you ultimately want from the thing you’re seeking.  Ask yourself, “How will I feel when this happens?”  The answer to that question is your goal.

A strategy, then, is the path required to get there. 

When you’re clear on the difference between your goals and strategies, you’ll be more in touch with the big-picture purpose of what you’re actually striving for.  Many people keep pushing toward goals that they’ve set for themselves, and then don’t understand why achieving them doesn’t make them satisfied or happy. Redefining your goals according to how you want to FEEL is a good solution for this problem.

Go to your list of goals, and consider each goal according to this definition.
Rewrite your goal so that it evokes a feeling, not just an action step or something you hope will happen.

A goal is a broad primary outcome. 
A strategy is the approach you take to achieve a goal. 
An objective is a measurable step you take to achieve a strategy. 
A tactic is a tool you use
in pursuing an objective associated with a strategy.

What do I Really Want?

So, I asked myself this question, and I came up with these answers.

            A broad primary outcome

Four Things That I Really Want

  • To have my body feel comfortably healthy.

  • To see my body as visually attractive in clothing. 

  • To have the sense of accomplishment that comes from weighing within my ideal weight maintenance range.

  • To be able to eat small amounts of the foods I want, whenever I want, without getting fat.

    ………Strategy… …………  
    A plan of action designed to achieve an overall aim.

Lose weight until I get down inside my ideal weight maintenance range,
and then maintain my weight inside it.

    …………. Objective…..
    A measurable step to achieve a strategy

I will eat only the amounts of food that will allow my body to get and stay inside my ideal weight maintenance range.

    A tool used to pursue an objective associated with a strategy. 

  • I will eat small to get and stay small.

  • I will weigh and measure my food, and work to count calories.

  • I will work to keep my total daily calorie average low enough to lose weight.

  • Every day I will record in my computer journal all of the food that I eat.

  • I will involve myself in the process of dieting and treat it like a Hobby.

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DietHobby is a Digital Scrapbook of my personal experience in weight-loss-and-maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all. Every diet works for Someone, but no diet works for Everyone.
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