Tapering Off & Substitution

Now that I’ve lost a ton of weight I feel as if I should spread the word on how I did it and how it’s probably the most pain free way of losing weight.  Most diets have you going from zero to hero in one day, you go from a fast food junkie to a superhealthy eating beast.  Or the diet eliminates a food type completely, some remove all carbs, some remove proteins, some say just have smoothies.  All these diets will work and you will lose weight, but will you keep with it?  I highly doubt it and there are some diets that are better than others, but I think I’ve come up with a diet strategy that works well and is generally pain free.

First off, your body is addicted to processed foods.  The food industry doesn’t really care if you’re healthy, they care that you’re addicted, and when you read the ingredients of most foods it sounds more like a chemists grocery list than a healthy food.  I’ll get into healthy foods and the like in a series of posts, because all that’s too much to digest initially (see what I did there, lol).

One of the first things you should do on a diet is accept the fact that change will happen, but not overnight.  I didn’t get fat overnight and why I failed on previous diets, and there were previous diets, was the fact that I wanted it all to happen overnight.  Day one of a diet usually involves hunger pains, but you have the resolve to keep it, so you go on for a few days, weeks, even months, but eventually your addictions will come back and you will not only break your diet but gain more weight in the process.

Don’t think about being on a diet, instead think about making small changes, tapering off bad habits, foods, etc, until they no longer have a mastery over you.  Don’t do multiple changes, just pick one topic, and work on that for a month.  Next month work on another topic, and another, etc, and within a few months you’ve eliminated some really bad things in you life.

Now onto the personal story and how I started to change things slowly and how it kind of snowballed into other things.  Every person has that food addiction that they know is bad for them, but they still do it anyway.  I had a laundry list of foods that just did me in, but there was one that topped them all.  Coke, I don’t mean that white powdery stuff, I mean the soda, or black gold as I sometimes used to call it.  Ah, my addiction to regular Coke was insane.  I would drink 6 cans a day without batting an eye.  This was going to be the first thing I started off with.  840 calories extra per day, that’s what I was having just in Coke, 234 mg of sugar, and I won’t even get into the other crap they put into it.

How did I break myself of this habit?  Tapering off.  If you’ve ever stopped drinking Coke you know one thing is going to happen, a wicked sick caffeine headache.  I swear if you drop down from 6 Cokes a day to Zero a day, you’ll feel horrible.  I tried in the past to go cold turkey, but that just didn’t work out so well, the addiction was too great and the physical side-effects were just too much.

Before anyone says Diet Coke, it’s not healthy, and doesn’t break the habit because it’s essentially a false prophet that keeps you believing in Coke.  You want to banish the addiction altogether and you don’t want to replace it with an unhealthy alternative that’s wrapped in the guise of greatness.

The first week I went down to 4 cokes a day, second week 3 cokes, 3rd week 1 coke, 4th week 1/2 a Coke.  The end of the month I was Coke addiction free.  The problem that existed was the void to fill, you need to drink something, and just saying drink water when you’ve gone from Coke is just an unacceptable alternative.  For my my substitution was Poland Spring Seltzer or Bottles of Poland Spring Water.  When I needed something fuzzy it would be a seltzer, when I wanted something to take with me in the car it would be a small bottle of water.

The first month I wasn’t on a diet, nope, I was just trying to break one bad habit.  That one bad habit was 25,200 calories per month.  Let’s do some further math fun…every pound gained or lost is 3500 calories, so just by eliminating Coke I started to lose a good amount of weight.   7.2 pounds a month….wait what?  You mean just by eliminating that one habit I was going to lose almost the 2 pounds a week that most diet programs promise.  Hell yeah!

I wasn’t hungry the first month because I wasn’t on a diet.  I was tapering off and substituting.  If you’re badly overweight start there, start rolling that snowball down the hill and you’ll soon find that these gradual slow healthy changes matter in a big way to make a little you.

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