No pain, I gain: Why calorie counting counts

Fad diets have never been my thing. I love to eat, crazy about my choices of sweets, and generally lucky to have been exposed to an athlete’s mindset. Over the past years, I’ve learned to burn enough calories to manage my weight without resorting to dieting of any sort.

But weight gain has always been a lurking problem. Each time I lose the discipline, the unwanted pounds come piling in. Looking back, it happens every vacation time that I get to spend at home. And since I’ve been back to my hometown for three years now, the excess weight I’ve gained is simply unbelievable.

I’ve cultivated habits before that somehow helped me manage my weight effectively. I had work, rowing, running, sanshou (wushu), and the commutes that entailed a lot of walking. I managed to stay within my ideal weight range even if I consumed food like an athlete during post-retirement years. But that was all before I uprooted myself from my previous life to relocate in my hometown.

I tried to lose weight before when I stayed home for an extended vacation. I didn’t get to exercise so I gained some unwanted pounds. I didn’t want to try the various quick dieting fixes recommended by some well-meaning friends. I guess the lessons drilled by sports nutritionists in the past combined with athletic training left me doubtful of anything that promises miraculous weight losses.

Shunning various well-meant suggestions from friends to try a slew of diets, I chose one similar to the program a sports nutritionist gave me back when I was still with my team. Calorie counting was a most effective method I’ve tried. It helped me lose weight in that sedentary vacation time.

My method was rudimentary. I didn’t have the right tools to test its accuracy. What I had was a short list of the usual foods I eat, the corresponding calorie content of each, a notebook, and a pen. I had no physical activities so I had to rely solely on my my diet. Monitoring and recording everything I ate helped me lose six pounds in three weeks. It didn’t feel like too much of a sacrifice either since I still got to eat my favorite desserts.

It was all a matter of discipline, moderation, and willpower. Sadly, I seem to have lost all three in the three years I’ve been home. I don’t row since there are no facilities here. I rarely run and I don’t practice sanshou because I lack discipline. I’ve become lazy that way. Little wonder I’m now fifteen kilograms overweight.

This morning I came across a breakthrough dieting technique that allows access to a virtual nutritionist. It’d be great to have one on my phone. It’s exactly the kind of tool that would help me succeed in my renewed efforts to lose weight.

Despite the growing desperation I feel in losing the daunting excess kilograms, I still put my faith on my tried and tested methods. There’s still no substitute to good nutrition and exercise. Calorie counting counts. And so does sweating it out. No pain, no gain. Or in my case – no pain, I gain.

I can’t wait to be fit again.


One thought on “No pain, I gain: Why calorie counting counts

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