One of my New Years resolutions was tending to my health. Most particularly the vaping, the weight, and soft drink consumption. These are all interrelated. The vaping is not a health problem in itself (I believe), but it coincides with my soft drink consumption because I do them both together, and with weight insofar as vaping provides relief to overeating. This post is about the weight thing.

I had tried to vaguely “eat less” and eat more of the high-fiber cereal in the morning, but it really wasn’t working. What I decided instead was simply to start counting calories and see where I stood. I never got an accurate measure, however, due to the Hawthorn Effect. Once I knew it was being counted, I modified my behavior almost immediately. According to the calculator I basically need to stay under 2500 calories a day, but every day but one (out of ten or so) I’ve come in under 2000. Despite the fact that my rules explicitly state I can eat whatever I want.

What I’ve learned most immediately is when I was mindlessly eating. Like I’d get a piece of cheese of Lain and then I’d get one for myself since I was right there. I also managed to, without much effort, figure out where I could scale back when preparing a sandwich for example. I also found out which foods are good at filling me up without taking up much in the way of calories. That last one could backfire because eggs are one of the good filler foods, but progress is progress.

What I find most noteworthy about this is how consistent I’ve been. In all but a couple of days, I’ve eaten between 1800 and 1900 calories. That’s a pretty range, made more interesting by the fact that I had no target in that range. To the extent that I had a goal, it was going to be 2500. Now I am for below 2000 – but no rules – and I not getting all the way up to 1990 or anything. My body apparently needs 1800-1900 to function and to stave off hunger.

It actually makes me wonder if my pre-monitoring calculations were similarly reliable. If I was eating between 2800-3000 calories, somewhat reliably, day-after-day.

Category: Kitchen

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4 Responses to 1800-1900

  1. Brandon Berg says:

    Your next book: “The Hawthorn Diet.” This is your ticket!

    • Brandon Berg says:

      As with most self-help books, the trick is to find a way to pad a simple idea out to book length to justify paying full price.

  2. trumwill says:

    Dude. You just named my diet. Awesome!

  3. fillyjonk says:

    I did the “write everything you eat down” diet for a while and it made me so miserable. (And yes, it’s a version of The Hawthorne Diet – when you are writing it down, you decide not to eat it, either because of “ugh, can’t be bothered to find my pen and notebook” or because of guilt feelings).

    I also find I can get dangerously obsessive over something like that.

    I find gauging by grams of carbohydrates works better for me, because that’s what I’m most prone to overdo. (Also I treat vegetables as “free” – but not potatoes – because then I eat more)

    I dunno. I have a checkup in four months, we’ll see if this worked.

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