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A question for the ages

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Is it better to eat food packed with chemicals and be thin(er) or be overweight, but eat whole foods?

What’s worse: being overweight (which I am) or thin(er), but with coke zero chemicals fueling my body?

The answer to this question has plagued me for nearly a decade.

Because I am overweight, I am at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes. But aren’t all those “diet foods” loaded with shit that will give you cancer? So what makes my risk lower for these God-awful diseases, less chemicals or lose weight?

I change my mind on this constantly, and it seems that researchers/media/diet gurus do too. I’ll load up on my beloved coke zero and processed convenience foods, only to find that studies show if you eat the real thing, loaded with fat and cals, you’ll be more satisfied and eat less than if you eat all that non-fat food.

I always take this as an opportunity to load up on Phish Food & Chubby Hubby, guilt free.

Then I realize that this approach is not going to work, as I’ve gained 1 million pounds, so I bring back the diet soda and 100 cal packs so I can eat with less guilt.

Lather, rinse and repeat for 10 years.

Deep down I think I know the real answer to my question: eat everything in moderation. This goes for both fatty and chemical laden foods.

But where’s the fun in moderation? 😉

What do you think? Do any of my (three) faithful readers struggle with this?

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9 responses »

  1. ::sigh:: This IS the eternal struggle. The only thing that has worked for me is tracking all of my food and exercise and keeping myself accountable. Not sexy, but it works. The first time I did it (before my wedding), I relied on chemical laden “diet food” and yeah, I lost weight, but I look back and feel like it was cheating. The next two times (both before and after pregnancy) I’ve used those kinds of foods in extreme moderation and learned how to incorporate real food into my diet without overindulging. It is not easy, but I’m pretty sure that it’s worth it.

    Stephanie

    Reply
    • Your WLJ sounds very similar to mine. I lost 50 lbs before my wedding by tracking (WW) & eating lots of “diet foods”. I gained it all back though because I didn’t lose it the “right” way. :/

      You are so right that it’s not easy, but if you can find that balance it is totally worth it.

      Reply
  2. Coke zero AND regular coke is not good for you! Neither of them are natural or found in nature. Stick to water. The key is swapping out carbs for low fat proteins. I stick to water, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries. These are “clean” foods that are found in nature.

    Reply
    • I know, I know! Coke Zero is like my heroin, and like any good addict, I talk about quitting but never quite get there.

      I drank Pelligrino & juice while I was pregnant, instead of soda. I’ll have to try that again to ease myself off the black tar.

      Reply
  3. After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (I highly recommend it), I now firmly believe that real food is the way to go. We cut out as many chemicals as possible, and, while neither of us has lost weight, we’re getting healthier (according to our most recent blood tests). I assume the weight loss will follow eventually, but even if it doesn’t, at least I know my body is functioning a little better than it used to…

    Reply
    • You know, I’m pretty sure I have that book but have never gotten around to reading it…which pretty much sums up my entire WLJ. I have the best of intentions, but I never quite get there.

      I’ve been feeling like a 90 year old woman since I had Emmett, it would be nice just to feel good, even if I’m still overweight.

      That does it, I’m back on the whole foods bandwagon!! Crap, what am I going to do with all the pre-made Costco meals I just bought…

      Reply
      • Yeah, I had to give up a lot of the pre-made food I was so fond of…Sigh. There are some good, more natural ones, though: Amy’s, Kashi, Cedarlane (I think–haven’t read their ingredients in a while, though). I drink a lot of sparkling water instead of soda, but if you prefer something sweeter it might be good to switch to a more natural soda (I think Hansens has cola and root beer in addition to all the fruity ones) because those use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (aka the devil).

        It’s a little hard at first to be diligent about it, but I think it’s worth it. Mike’s cholesterol went down 60 points (!) since we’ve changed the way we eat.

  4. Everything in moderation, yes, but…. I also grew up in a house with a father with type 2 diabetes, so I never had “regular” anything.

    Bottom line is, I’m a volume eater. I am not satisfied with full-fat Cherry Garcia, I should really have the low-fat stuff, because I am not more satisfied, ever. And if I’m out of points for a meal because I had it, the same day or the next day, it is indeed sabotaging me.

    I did largely give up soda, which I had every day when I first joined WW years ago. I discovered that sometimes I was eating more because an hour after the soda, when the bubbles faded, I had an odd sense of “emptiness” hunger. It made me want to eat for the pleasure of eating alone. And plain water following the cola was just not satisfying, so my water consumption was going down beyond the first weeks OP. I switched to diet 7up from diet Coke to cut out some of the caffeine (already drink coffee) and within a few months, even the diet 7up was getting in the way of my goals. In cold weather, instead of soda, I have more tea. I have lots of varieties of tea, including white tea, red tea and green tea with fruit, yeah, sometimes “flavors,” but a 20oz mug with one tea bag and I’m pretty successful. In the summer, iced tea is great, but Crystal Light is awesome. Yep, alternative sugar, I alternate between varieties with aspartame and Splenda, and it’s not every bit of liquid that I drink. But I also tend to dilute it with 1.5-2 times the water. I get my water in, and when I quench my third with actual liquid, I can stay away from some other stuff.

    The real benefit is that when I go out, and I don’t want to spend all my points on alcohol, or be tempted by a table spread, I have a soda. And then it’s special, and I might nurse it a little and I might have another!

    On the other hand, don’t mess with my cheese, I like that real. I’ll just measure it so even if I want more, I already portioned that out. We all have our “things.”

    Reply

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