Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going Overboard?

Is it possible to go too far in the quest to lose weight? Most definitely.

We’ve all been there. We’re so excited to start this new phase in our life, to get healthy, to get thinner, that we jump in with both feet. We’re stringent with our diet. We exercise for several hours each day. Then what happens?

We do great for a while, maybe a few weeks, maybe even a few months. We’re losing weight, feeling great. Then something happens. It could be that you get ill, you could have a killer week at work and just can’t get to the gym, or you could just be watching television and that cake the TV character is eating looks so darn good. You slide. With a vengeance.

No more watching your diet, no more exercise. Within a short amount of time, you’ve undone everything you’ve accomplished, especially the new-found confidence and pride in yourself. Sound familiar?

That’s one of the things I love about SparkPeople. They encourage you to take things slowly, incorporating one step at time until it becomes a habit and then adding the next step.
A conversation with an acquaintance really brought home to me how we deprive ourselves sometimes.

As many of you know, I’m an American living in Germany. I love learning about the people and culture here and enjoy experiencing it all firsthand. One part of that is the food. German food is more than schnitzel and bratwurst and it’s pretty tasty. Of course, I can’t forget the beer either.:)

A woman that is in my exercise class said that she won’t eat German food because she doesn’t know how to count the calories. I found that sad. She’s here, experiencing a new country. Many people would love to change places with her and she’s limiting herself. For no reason, in my opinion.

It’s true that most calorie counters don’t list German food. It makes it a bit more difficult, but not impossible to enjoy cultural dishes and still lose weight.

Options include finding a recipe online (easy) and figure it out. Punch the recipe into an online food calculator (like SparkPeople) and let them figure it out for you. I enjoy the food when I go out. I drink the beer. I just make allowances in my diet for the rest of the day. Or, if I happen to over my allotted daily calories, I get back on track the next day.

Am I losing the weight slower? Maybe. I think I have a better chance of keeping it off. I’m not looking for a diet to follow to lose weight quickly. I’m looking for a healthier lifestyle overall. That includes indulgences.

What do you think? Would you eat the food in Germany if you were on a diet?


Sabrina Shields said...

I live to travel, and I have about 20 pds to lose, but I would NEVER visit a country and not eat their food. I would feel like I'm missing out on an essential part of learning about their culture if I did that.

Good luck with the weight loss and I agree that SparkPeople rocks. :)

Suzanne said...

SparkPeople is awesome! Now if I could just make myself DO it...But I'd absolutely eat food in Germany. One of my favorite travel memories is wandering the streets of Munich by myself, getting lost, and ending up in a pastry shop where I ordered "apple church"--the guy behind the counter said I made his day :-) There also might have been giant soft pretzels involved. Food is a part of every culture and it's important to experience moderation.

Riley Quinn said...

I agree, Sabrina. Food is an essential part of every culture.

Yes, Suzanne, moderation is key. I love those dang pretzels.

I'm so glad that you both like SparkPeople. I think it's wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by.

Gale Stanley said...

I would absolutely eat the food. How often do you get the chance to experience another culture the way you have? But I never thought about the difficulty in counting calories. I have a hard time doing it here in the States. BTW, I still have my old Spark acct. How would I find you?

RL said...

I'd eat the food ... lots and lots of it :), but I'd be walking miles and miles taking in all the beautiful sites so ... it's all good!
Glad to hear you're sticking to the course; I completely forgot about Not So Fat Tuesdays, gonna have to dig out some more recipes: have you tried the cordon bleu yet?

Nightingale said...

I love to try the cuisine when I travel. You don't have to travel far in Houston to experience many. I'm particularly fond, recently, of Persian.

Riley Quinn said...

Gale, I'm on SparkPeople as arafuse.

True, Rachel, walking is very big here. Also part of the German culture. I haven't tried the cordon bleu yet but that may be on my menu plan for next week. I'll let you know when I try it.

Nightingale, that is one of the best benefits of living in a large city. When I lived outside of DC, you could find just about any kind of cuisine imaginable. I like Mediterranean food too!

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