The Essence of Diets - Part One
- POSTED ON: Mar 02, 2011



I’ve been thinking a great deal about the essence of Diets.
The term “diet” is defined as Habitual Nourishment.

The term “calorie” is the term used to measure the energy value inside food, i.e. the unit equivalent to the energy-producing amount of food when oxidized in the body.

In order for the human body to become a smaller size by losing bodyfat, that body must take in less energy than it uses.

 I have read hundreds of diet books, and been on many, many weight-loss diets.
Each of them appears to be some variation of a way to “EAT LESS and MOVE MORE”.

One of the things I find fascinating about Gary Taubes’ books, one of which is now featured here in the section BOOKTALK. is that in one way his concept seems to break that mold……and yet in another way…the concept seems to fit into it.

I’m going to share some thoughts about this here. Then at some future time, I plan to share some further personal insights on this matter.

It seems clear to me that there are essentially 3 issues involved in all Diets,
One main food issue, AMOUNT,
and two sub-issues, 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 3 food issues.

This can involve either DIRECT or INDIRECT restriction.

DIRECT restriction involving AMOUNT, some Examples include:

  • Counting food calories with the goal of staying near a certain number.

  • Counting food points.

  • Portion control – eating a specific size of a food substance

  • Counting bites

  • 1 plate, no seconds  -as in The No S Diet.

  • Meal size restrictions – i.e. large Lunch, other meals smaller, etc.

  • Variation of Amounts on alternating days - QOD, JUDDD, Calorie Cycling, Fast-5 
    .............are actually Blends of the Amount and Frequency categories.

INDIRECT restriction involving AMOUNT
This involves restricting the KIND of food eaten, and/or the FREQUENCY of eating food.

This involves a DIRECT restriction of KIND, resulting in an INDIRECT restriction on the total AMOUNT of food calories. DIRECT restriction of KIND usually involves a shift in the balance of the intake of various  food micronutrients. Reduction of KIND frequently involves a flavor/taste reduction or satiation factor that results in less overall food intake.

Some Examples of restriction involving KIND include:

  • Sweets Restriction – reduction of the intake of sugar, resulting in an additional
    reduction in fat and other carbs such as flour etc

  • Fried Foods Restriction – restriction of cooking method resulting in a reduction
    of the intake of fat miconutrients.

  • Low-fat –overall reduction of the intake of fat miconutrients.

  • Low-carb – overall reduction of the intake of carbohydrate miconutrients.

  • High-Protein – increase in protein along with reduction in carbohydrates.

  • Food Exchanges – Divisions of foods restricting intake of specific food
    containing specific miconutrients, resulting in a reduction in total intake.
    One example: Dividing food portions on one’s plate such as:
    ¼ protein, ¼ starch, ½ complex veggies and fruit.

  • Food Combinations – Divisions of food intake involving specific combinations
    of micronutrients at specific times (includes a frequency factor) resulting
    in a reduction of overall amount.

  • High-fiber – reduction of the intake of miconutrients with low-fiber.

  • Vegetarian – restricting animal proteins

  • Liquid – restricting solid foods.

  • Organic or No Processed Foods – restricting foods containing various chemicals

  • Raw – restricting cooked and processed foods

  • Low-sodium – reduction of foods containing salt, less flavor resulting in less overall intake.  

This involves a DIRECT Restriction on eating FREQUENCY,
resulting in an INDIRECT restriction on the total AMOUNT of total food calories.

Some Examples of restriction involving FREQUENCY include:

  • 3 meals each day, with no snacks (The No S Diet)

  • 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks per day.

  • 6 small meals per day ( or 4 small meals per day)

  • All snacks, no meals

  • Zero food – i.e. water fasting

  • No eating after dinner.

  • Eat only before sunrise, and after sunset

  • All eating to be within a certain time period a 5 hr daily window (Fast -5)

  • 24 hr fast – No food after 5 p.m. until 5 p.m. following day (EatStopEat)

  • Alternate day eating – (QOD, JUDDD)

  • Intuitive Eating - Eat when hungry stop when satisfied/before full.

I'll be writing more about this concept in the future.

An Individual Fit
- POSTED ON: Mar 01, 2011


An individual Fit is necessary
when it comes to Diets or Lifestyles.

Have you thought that if you did just what someone else does,
you would look just like them? Yet when you try to copy their
choice of foods and fitness activities, you’re miserable.

Then when you stop doing it, you feel like you failed.
You didn't fail. It was just a bad lifestyle fit.

 Each of us is an individual on our own journey, and none of us are exactly alike.
Some people need to follow a specific eating plan and have foods they never eat again.
A Plan like this makes some people feel deprived and leads to binge eating.
Some people need to eat smaller quantities of what they want at frequent times,
while taking extra care to carefully log that food into their trackers.

I don’t like any outside control on my eating behavior
I hate having well-meaning people ask: "Should you be eating that?"
Others aren’t any more right or more wrong than me.
We all want to save ourselves from obesity, and there are many options available.
The secret is to find what works for each one of us personally.
There is a lot of advice out there from the weight loss industry.
So many “medical discoveries” happening in the field,
So many magazines promoting “new miracle diets”,
So many tips and tricks.

Now Obesity is considered an epidemic
but there’s no vaccination…no one-cure-fits-all fix.
Each of us has to find our own way.
 We know some basics of calories-in and calories-out
which is one starting point of our physical problem.
However genetic, psychological, character-related,
disease-related, and other problems, are involved as well.
These are all variables which cause more than one problem
and require more than one solution.

Note that in “Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes,
the basic belief in calories-in/calories-out is even termed the "Original Sin”.

What works for me may not work for you.
What works for you might not work for me.

Each of us wants to find a way to change our life without severely disrupting it.
That’s a tough Goal. To accomplish that, we need to gather as much information
as is possible, and make changes that work best individually.

How do you know what fits you personally, 
and  how do you push out of your comfort zone?

I’ve heard that the change should fit into your life
the way you try to fit a puzzle piece in place.
Keep turning it around and trying it at different angles
to see if that’s the right one.
If it isn’t, it will never go in place, so try another.

No Diet is one-size-fits-all.
No single answer will solve everyone’s problems with obesity.
If you’re still fat, you aren’t a failure,
you just haven’t found your own answer yet. 
Just keep searching.  

What is the Best Way To Diet?
- POSTED ON: Feb 27, 2011

There are many different diets, ways-of-eating, and lifestyles.
I believe that each of us has to find his or her own way.


All of the Weight-Loss/Maintenance research and theories contain flaws, and
each of us is individually conducting an Experiment of One.

I totally agree with the following quote by an online forum member.

"You see a lot of contradiction in diet books
and on diet blogs and message boards.
Some people will tell you to eat certain foods,
others tell you to stay away from them,
eat six meals, or maybe just three meals,
do aerobics, avoid aerobics,
take these pills, don't take any pills.

Nobody's right. Everyone's right.

You have to think of a diet as a trip home for Thanksgiving --
it's a personal destination
and you should know better than anybody how to get there.

If you're driving east on the highway heading home for Thanksgiving,
you'll see a lot of cars driving west.

If the person in the passenger seat said,
"There's a lot of people heading home for the holiday,"
you wouldn't turn to that person and flip out and say,
"What the hell!
What a bunch of retards!
Don't they know home is this way?"

But that is what diet writing often is --
people arguing over how to get home."


Online Forums - A Useful Dieting Support Tool.
- POSTED ON: Feb 26, 2011


The support and information that I’ve received from participating
in online forums has
helped me toward my goals of weight-loss
and maintenance.

The majority of people in these online forums share a common interest
in diet, fitness, and related health issues. Matters of age, sex, race, size,
appearance, occupation, status, religion, and political affiliation tend to
become irrelevant as people join together to achieve their personal weight
and health related goals.

     I’ve found most of these people to be remarkably intelligent, articulate,
courteous, and kind. A member can share a personal feeling and opinion about a relevant issue,
and others will join in with comments on that topic. Whether I just read the forum comments
or choose to make a comment myself, as time goes on I become familiar with these people, and
begin to consider some of them as friends. Previously I wrote articles about this subject
in Online Friends and Imaginary Friends.

Over the years, a few of my online forum relationships with like-minded female forum members,
have progressed to e-mails, phone calls, and even personal visits, which has provided an
added dimension to the personal friendships in my life.

My entry into the online forum world was around January 2005,  when
I first became involved
in the Monthly Challenges forum at This
was the only online forum where I chose to use my real name, Phyllis Collins,
and I did that primarily because I didn’t understand I could choose a different user name.
Since joining, I’ve posted in that forum every month, and today, I logged in
to reserve my spot in the March 2011 Challenge.

For those of you who might be interested in my real time weight-loss numbers,
and the process I’ve gone through since January 2005 and the present date,
you can see all of my personal DietPower Challenge Posts by looking at their
Challenge Forum Archives. I feature DietPower software at DietHobby, because
I consider it to be my most valuable individual tool. FYI, I have no financial interest
in DietPower..including any referrals or recommendations existing within this Blog.

Many diet book authors and diet gurus have forums on their individual websites.
One online forum that I’ve found extremely valuable is the No S Diet Forum.
I began posting there in spring of 2008, and I’ve posted there consistently
since that time…including this morning. My user name in that forum, as well as
other online forums, is BrightAngel. I’ve found the atmosphere at the No S forum to be
supportive and accepting of individual differences. It’s one of my favorite online places
..and contains some of my favorite online people. DietHobby has a link to Reinhard’s book,
The No S Diet” and links to some of his “Shovelglove” Videos, both of which
I will be discussing at a later time.

The two forums mentioned above have been my primary individual forum tools.
Also worth mentioning is the 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community forum
which is quite a good forum resource. I first posted there in fall 2009, and still post
there rather inconsistently. Spark People also has some excellent forums, and I
will be providing you with more details about the Spark People tools at a later time.

I have also been involved with forums that won’t be individually named in DietHobby
due to the presence of heavy-handed moderators and restrictive posting rules
within those forums.

I find that I have much, much more to say about the value of online Forums,
and at some future time, I’ll continue on with more about this subject.

Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude
- POSTED ON: Feb 25, 2011


The construction of DietHobby website has been completed,
and today I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share
myself and my lifestyle here.

Thanks to my son-the-web-genius for his hard work and creative
talent; Thanks to my husband who has patiently tolerated the
(temporary) disturbance in his routine; and Thanks to each of you
for coming here and participating in this adventure.

I am grateful to the Universe, and to you.

I googled the words ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Thank You’ in an effort to find
some special words, some special way to say Thank you.
Mostly what I found were quotes on how important it is
to be grateful and to say Thank you.
Like….”Let’s be Grateful.”

I already knew that. Why would I even be interested in
finding words of gratitude unless I was feeling grateful?

One site wouldn’t let me see ‘Thank You’ and ‘Gratitude’ quotes
unless I gave them my cell phone number.
What’s that all about? I left without any quotes.
I did not give it my Thanks nor my cell phone number.

So I didn’t find what I was looking for.
But here is a quote that I liked:

If you haven’t all the things you want,
be grateful for the things you don’t have that you wouldn’t want.”

I wrote this article in Word, and when I went to DietHobby to post it,
I discovered that the advertisements are now up and running.
My son and I had issues about this concept because I didn’t want any ads.
However, we arrived at a compromise, with my agreement to allow Google
to place one “banner type” ad at the bottom of the page, and one block add at the
bottom of the right side of the page. The site owner has no choice in the ad selections.

You might be amused to know that when I explained my personal aversion to ads to my son,
I told him that as an example, I didn’t want to see Jillian’s belly at DietHobby. But, never
in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my site would actually ATTRACT her ads,
….AND even IN COLOR. Evidentially each site page has different ads. You can imagine
the surprise and other emotions I felt when coming to this site and seeing her ads here
for the first time.
 That visit I went from page to page and counted six Jillian ads on the different
pages here...SIX !!!  I often watch The Biggest Loser, but her training style is not my personal
Of course, MY belly wasn't firm and flat like that even when I was 16 years old.  
I understand that these ads are on some type
of rotation and that they will greatly vary
from time to time. I've actually never paid much attention to that factor in my online travels.

Well...I promised to give ads a try, perhaps I’ll become accustomed to seeing them, who knows,
My philosophy is that each of us is an Experiment-of-one, and there are many different paths
that people can follow, so perhaps a few of these random ads will be helpful to some.

Anyway, despite my initial surprise,  I am maintaining my attitude of gratitude. Personally I’m
going to do my best to ignore the ads, and I hope you will feel free to do the same.

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