Saturday, March 28, 2009

Second post

Thanks for your comments on the last post. I like hearing from ya. JD, yeah you should start one, and MJ I know you like to write... I could see you starting one as well. It's nice to be able to write about whatever you want.

KN, yes it feels good to finally have a plan, even though I still have doubts from time to time. I think it was you who was talking about what to choose for a career versus what should be kept as a hobby, and you probably didn't know, but that actually helped me quite a bit!

Doubts and second-guessing seem to be part of my nature, and I'll probably have them no matter what I choose as a career. I've never had that one thing that stood out as "Aha, that's my calling" but there are a lot of different things that I find interesting and would like to do. It was difficult to choose one thing because I thought it meant I would have to leave everything else behind. But then I realized I can still do most things I want to (with a few exceptions - I don't think "surgery" or "curing AIDS" would work well as hobbies), I just can't necessarily get paid or get recognition for all of them. So I decided to go into nutrition partly because it's flexible enough for the other important things in my life, and, of course, for many other reasons.

At first, I became interested in nutrition because of all the different diets, like atkins, south beach, etc., as well as the different detox methods such as master cleanse and saltwater. I wanted to know what they did and which ones were the best. I did some reading into it and found that there are a lot of differing opinions. I was more confused than when I started! There is some evidence that the atkins diet is effective in weight-loss, but some nutritionists think it might be unhealthy to eat a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbs, some veggies, and some fruit. It is supposed to starve the body of carbohydrates, and thus the fat stores get broken down and converted to energy. Many people have lost weight using the diet, but some nutritionists think the weight-loss is due to how restrictive the diet is, that people on it simply don't eat as many calories. It certainly is good to elminate many of the refined carbohydrates that are out there, since they get converted to fat when they are in excess of the body's needs. Another positive of the diet is that it promotes exercise, unlike some of the other "magic pill" diets out there. I think part of the reason there is still a controversy over this and other diets is that they work for some people and not others. Plus, there are so many environmental factors that contribute to a person's health that it is hard to say definitively that the diet was responsible for the problem. (Some of this I got from my "Understanding Nutrition" textbook and I know WebMD has some good info.)

Overall, from what I've read, it is much easier to prevent weight-gain than get rid of it. Fat is not used up as readily as it is stored, and it seems to me the best way to get rid of it is to reduce the number of empty calories like fats and refined carbohydrates while still eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

I know weight-loss can be a sensitive subject, and I hope I didn't come across too preachy. I just wanted to explain what I've read about the topic. One thing I definitely understand is that everybody is different, and has their own weight/diet/exercise issues.

Well, I wrote more than I was planning to and should probably get on with my day.


  1. I think that any weight loss diet has to consist of at least two things; exercise and satiety. Exercise builds muscle which is an energy consumer. Also exercise seems to allow a person to more easily change their eating habits, possibly by changing the routine along with and physiological changes.

    In my opinion, the other important contribution to an effective weight loss diet is satiety. Satiety is the feeling of fullness that you get from eating. If you eat foods that make you feel full but have less calories you will obviously be able to better control your weight. Here are a couple of websites that discuss satiety:, and

    Eat lots of potatoes, moist fruit, meat and whole grains and eat less sugar and oils.


  2. Please explain how to use the "Comment as:" window below the "Post a Comment" section. What is Google Account and Name/URL?

  3. After a little fiddling I think I have this figured out... if you choose Name/URL you can choose whatever name and website you want, and your name will show up with a link to the website. You can also just write your name and it won't have a link. For the others - Google Account through OpenID - you have to have an account with them already. If you have a gmail account, I think you will be able to use Google Account. I believe it will show up as just your name and it might provide a link to your google profile. In my opinion, the easiest thing to do is to use "Name/URL" and only provide a name unless you have a website you want to share. I chose Name/URL and wrote in MJD and to show what happens.

  4. JD,

    I'm glad you brought up the psychological aspects of weight-loss. I think your point of how exercise changes the routine is good and I think it also increases self-esteem and makes you feel better overall, which might make it easier for you to stick to a diet because you're thinking of the future in a positive way and not having to use food for comfort as much.

    The point about satiety is a good one too. It seems like a lot of diets are destined to fail because they're so restrictive it's impossible to keep it up. To me, the word "diet" makes me think of certain foods being banned completely until a certain weight goal is reached. In my opinion, that leads to more cravings because those banned foods become forbidden fruits.

    I think a better way is to not ban anything completely and let yourself have a treat every once in a while... I find the cravings for most things go away after a week or two of not eating them. But if you can't have one piece of cake without eating the whole thing then maybe it is better to ban the food completely... ahhhh it's complicated!

  5. Thanks for the links, jd. I found them interesting.


  6. I don't think that cutting out any particular food is a smart way to diet. But a strategy that works for me when I have the munchies is to eat something with high satiety first.

    I try to first eat an apple or an orange when I crave cookies. Then I will eat one or two cookies instead of a half dozen. Sometimes I heat up a potato with lots of stuff on it and it tastes better and is more filling than chips.

    I get cravings for junk food, but mixing in healthy foods at the same time seems to work for me.