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The Negative Calorie Diet

The Negative Calorie Diet is somewhat like a calorie counting diet; except that it is simper because you only keep up with the fact you have cut calories from your diet.  It's extremely reliable, simple, safe, and doesn't expect you to suffer as many diets tend to do.  It doesn't require you to purchase expensive substitute meals, or take any weight loss remedies.   This is a diet that your doctor will whole heartedly endorse as it explains how to follow the diet, how the diet works, and goes into the physiology and psychology that you need to understand to make a life time commitment of healthy weight control.

Following this introduction there is an ongoing example of this diet in action.  There are a number of topics in the example that are laid out on a timeline and are pertinent to the date that the entries are listed by.  You should read the entries that cover the first ten weeks of the diet and then reread them roughly on your schedule as you progress through the diet.  Some of the entries are reminders of information that is important at the date entered into the log.  Many of the entries are explanations of topics that are important throughout the diet and beyond.

If you need to lose weight, please give this diet a try.  If you follow it and everyone can, it will be the last diet that you ever need to know about. 

If you have questions, comments about the diet, or results to share with our audience, please send them to the editor;   .  Results you share, if posted, will be anonymous.  If there are questions or comments that correlate from a number of readers, they will be posted in the diet section with answers for other to read.  



Beginning diet.  Current weight is 254 lbs.
I worked out a diet some years ago and lost about 60 pounds at the rate of about 2 pounds per week.  I kept my weight fairly steady for a number of months after which I was back up to about 15 pounds where it stayed for about a year.  As I relaxed watching my weigh it began to creep up about a pound a month until it finally leveled out. 

I plan to take notes fairly regularly, as a journal, on the process as I progress through the diet.  It will be easier to get in allot of the details that I would not remember otherwise.  As I get further along into the diet, there may be streaks where I mostly track the pounds as they drop off and an occasional set of comments.  As I near my goal, I expect that it may become more difficult to loose the pounds since at a lighter weight, I will be burning fewer calories.  During this phase, I will increase my entries to document changes if any that I have to make to get to the goal.  The goal is to be under 190 pounds which is my ideal weight.  I may drop a little below that mark, but once there, I intend to remain just under 190 lbs.

The first couple of weeks of the diet are mostly preparation.  Its difficult to jump straight ahead although I could loose a little weight in the process.  The first step will be to cut back on lunch to a controlled calorie count.  For me this will be in the range of 400 to 500 calories.  I expect to be quite hungry by the time I leave work so I will plan to have a snack on the hard days to help with the hunger anxiety.  I will make a few adjustments along the way as I get closer to the next step.

The end goal to get fully broken into the diet, is to cut Lunch and breakfast in half since those are the two meals that I have the most control over and then to not make up for the loss of calories at dinner time.  I will need to make a few adjustments in my dinner portions only on those items that I generally tend to over eat. 




Its not easy to cut one's meal down substantially in size, so I when I am eating a substantially smaller portion, I choose something that I can bite off smaller pieces than I normally would and chew them for a longer period of time.  Its something you have to consciously do at first, but it comes more naturally later.  This is part of the re-training that is needed for long term eating habit changes.  Babies require 20 minutes of sucking time when they are consuming their nourishment, from mom or a bottle, to properly cycle through their feeding time.  It is reality the same for adults when they eat, they must give their bodies a reasonable timeframe to go from being hungry to being finished eating.  You become satisfied with your meal when you take your time, about 20 minutes to consume your food.  What I have found is that this 20 minutes is best if the eating process takes up this timeframe.  Not talking or doing other things, but stretching your lunch out to consume 20 minutes of eating time.




Valentines Day.  I got some candy for the kids and some that was on sale to go around also.  Not the best idea as it will stretch out the break in cycle for the diet. 




I stretched the candy out and the last of the it is gone.  I'm getting away from hitting dinner as hard, although it become an ongoing effort.




Weighed 252
Started on phase two.  For phase two I cut my breakfast in half.  My normal breakfast is around 380 calories, so I am cutting it to 190 calories.  I usually eat either instant oatmeal or Ramen Noodles for breakfast during the week.  I've also mostly overcome the need to hit dinner harder than usual.



We had chilly slaw dogs for dinner and I cut down from two hotdogs to one and added a little extra chilly. 

The chilly slaw dogs are fairly large.  They start with a hot dog bun and  a 1/10 lb lean beef hotdog topped with a couple tablespoons of chopped onion, a couple of large spoons of homemade slaw, a half dozen lines of yellow mustard, about three ounces of chilly, a couple more tablespoons of chopped onion, and a few more lines of mustard.



Weighted 250 at Dr appt so I have dropped 4 pounds so far. 




Dropped 2 pounds so far this week.  Down to 248 lbs.  I have been having a small apple or banana late in the afternoon to reduce my apatite before dinner.  I also bought some carrots and celery as a snack that has few calories.

I have successfully cut both breakfast and Lunch combined down to 600 calories.  This gives me an allotment of about 100 calories that I will plan to have late in the afternoon during the week to buffer my appetite going into dinner time.



We had hotdogs last night and I only had one.  I usually don't have the pasta that is fixed for my daughter but we had some spinach filled pasta that I fixed a few days ago with it.



Dropped 2 pounds so far this week.  Down to 246 lbs. 
One thing that you must keep in mind is that your weight goes up and down during the day and even more over the span of a week.  I watch my weight by marking down the low weight mark for the week.  I may weigh a few times during the week but if it up or down a little from the last low, I don't mark it down.  I usual wait until it looks like its going to be a couple of pounds off from the week before.  As long as it is falls somewhere below the low weight mark of the previous week, I'm happy about my progress.  I expect it to be off a couple of pounds most weeks and sometime three pounds.  I also expect it to average a drop of two pounds per week for the long run.



So far I have dropped 190 calories from breakfast, 400 to 600 calories from lunch or roughly 500 on average, 100 calories on snacks, and on average of a couple hundred calories at dinner time.  This brings my total reduction of calories to about 1000 per day during the week.  The weekend has been moderated only a slightly, maybe four or five hundred calories per day, but its more difficult to account for.  I mostly try not to compensate on the weekend for the calorie reduction during the week.  The weeks savings comes to a little over 5000 calories, and translates to about 2.5 pounds per week.

I did some research to try to figure out how many calories it would take to equate to a pound of body weight.  You can't use a straight fat weight to calorie count since there is a good bit of water contained in the fat tissues in your body.  So I tried to find something that would simulate the fat to water content and I could get a calorie per pound reading.  The closest thing I could find was raw bacon since bacon is mostly fat and water and very little lean tissue.  This research yielded a reading of just over 2000 calories per pound of body mass, or about 50% fat and 50% water.  This info won't help you loose weight but it can help with calorie calculations towards weight gain or loss.



Down to 244 lbs. 



Yesterday I tried a new lunch item, a chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich.  It was a mistake.  The grilled chicken sandwich seems a little too low in fat.  The problem with a half size lunch item is that it must contain three ingredients'.  It must have a portion of the calories in an easily digestible form to quench your hunger fairly quickly, a medium duration set of calories, and a longer duration set of calories. 

This calorie mix must be portioned such that the early calories kick in while you are eating and lasting long enough for the remainder of the calories to kick in.  The second group of calories is the main calorie contributors to the meal and must last for a few hours, while there also must be a trailing set of calories that carry you until the next time you are going to eat.  Let's take a look at two similar items, the chick-fil-a chicken sandwich and the chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich.  The components are primarily the bun which represents a fairly quick burst of calories that will quench your hunger while you are eating, the calories from chicken meat that will pick up as the bun calories die out and carry you through the medium term, and the fat content that produces the longest term calories to carry you to the finish line.  Both of these sandwiches are similar, but the grilled sandwich falls a little short in two areas.  First the bun on the grilled sandwich is whole wheat which pushes more of its contents to the mid range calories so it fell slightly short on the early calories.  This was a little bit of a problem but not that much.  The real kicker where the grilled chicken sandwich falls short is in the long term calories since it has much less fat than the traditional chick-fil-a sandwich.  The rule of thumb here is balance.  The more balanced the calorie types are, the smoother your day will be between this meal and the next.



Down to 243 lbs. 



Down to 242 lbs. 

Late last week I had some rice and gravy.  It was too good.  I probably ate too much and my wife doesn't seem to think gravy can be made without an excess amount of some type of oil or fat.  My father showed me how to make gravy when I was fairly young.  He made gravy in a fairly large iron skillet.  If he had cooked something in it such as hamburger or other fatty meat, he drained all of the fat from the skillet before he made gravy.  He said that the iron of the skillet had enough juices from the meat to flavor the gravy and it didn't need more than that.  He always made really good gravy.  I think part of the trick to making really good food is to use the right cookware. 

Being on a reduced eating program is much like an alcoholic or a smoker quitting.  However in some ways, it's worse.  For someone quitting a bad habit, they eventually after retraining themselves are completely removed from the temptations to engage in their habit.  With a diet, it's different because you aren't giving up eating; you are modifying the amounts of calorie intake that you are receiving.  The thing that makes it similar is that there are foods that are very compelling to over indulge in.  For me there is gravy and rice.  Sounds benign, but there is something about a white fairly thick gravy mixed in rice that overwhelmingly commands me to keep eating.  For me that combination sets off an addictive trigger that is almost impossible to resist.  For some its potato chips, chocolate, or fried chicken.  Everyone has their list of addictive triggers.  In order to keep one's weight under control, we must avoid being tempted by these foods on any regular basis.  There is a well known list of these foods that some restaurants lean on to drum up extra business.  Fried chicken is one of the most famous foods used with this approach.  The restaurant will deliver a small amount of these foods to someone in an office setting, often for free, knowing that the smells they deliver along with the food will allure quite a few patrons to come through their lunch line.  You must regulate encounters with the foods that are highly compelling.  If you make a list of your highly compelling foods, you will most likely find that a number of them are actually bad for you in that they contain a high fat and or salt content.  For me this is true about fried chicken and white gravy over rice.  The gravy doesn't necessarily have a lot of fat in it but my tastes were trained when I was young that it does and the cravings begin by just smelling or seeing that food combination.  Once this happens you lose all bearing on when to stop eating.  Your natural triggers that tell you when you have had enough are numbed and go silent by the overshadowing cravings created by the thought of these compelling food items.



Down to 241lbs. 

At this point, its been a while since I had any difficulty making it from breakfast to lunch.  I often go a little later to lunch than I use to, about 30 minutes to an hour later.  I also have no trouble making it from lunch to the end of the day.  My afternoon snack often seems like it could wait until later.  I still feel that I need dinner around 6pm but I know it will most likely be closer to 8pm or after, so I still go for my snack, small banana or apple, to carry me over.  The after work hours are the most unpredictable for those of us who have family schedules to contend with.  This is one of the reasons that cutting calories out of the predictable portion of the day works best.

Sometimes I still get the urge to have a different type snack other than a fruit, but that is dangerous territory.  If a snack has certain properties, it will be detrimental to the time period between having it and making it to the next meal without being anxious for something additional.  That is part of the relearning process.  Knowing your own tastes and determining which things need to be avoided as beneficial meals and snacks.  If when you think about a particular food item, you feel compelled to eat it, then you should probable avoid that food item in during most of the day.  Especially when it could have you on the lookout for something to eat.  For example, a pack of peanut butter crackers seems compelling to me.  It has a lot of calories packed in a small volume, and during the time I would want the crackers, I should have only about 100 or less calories, and this snack needs to quite my hunger for at least a couple of hours.  A single pack of crackers has about twice the calories that I should have for my snack, and is not proportioned properly to have a lasting effect.  They also have allot of salt which has the opposite affect that I am looking for.  Anything that has a salty taste is likely to set off additional hunger anxiety and I need to have a snack that will smooth out hunger levels from the point of the snack until dinner.



Still at 241 lbs. 

This week my diet has seen three deviations from plan.  Tuesday we had a company wide meeting with lunch to follow.  It was too good to pass up. I had a chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Wednesday I ate too much at dinner.  We had soupy well cooked beans to go over rice.  I had the usual amount of rice, but should have reduced the rice to make up for the added bean topping.  Friday I had lunch with an old friend and had a burrito.  The good news is that I didn't loose ground, I just delayed my progress by a week.  This is to be expected from time to time, and that why the average weight drop over time should be about 2 pounds per week instead of 2.5 pounds.  I lost 9 pounds over the past month which averages just under 2 pounds per week.  I plan to try not to repeat this week again any time soon.  One off day usually won't make allot if difference since the extra calories can mostly be made for up at other times during the week, but three off days just doesn't leave any room to make up for the extra calories.



Down to 239 lbs. 
I am back on track this week and I have lost a total of 15 pounds.
It has become very easy to go through the day with my cut in calories without thinking about it.  I have been skipping my afternoon snacks about 50% of the time although I am trying to determine if it is better to have them to reduce my apatite ahead of dinner or to skip the calories.  Its probably better to have a light snack to help me to stay on track through dinner.  Not so much to get me to dinner, but to get me through the temptation of over eating during dinner.  Dinner is also easier if we aren't having one of my favorite meals since my favorites tend to cause me to eat more than I should.



Down to 238 lbs.



Down to 235 lbs.   
I have lost a total of 19 pounds, my pants are quite loose around my waist, and I will soon need to pull in my belt at least one notch.

One thing I wanted to go ahead and mention about this diet.  The reason I regained the weight that I lost the first time I was on this diet is one simple ingredient.  I went back to not keeping up with how much I ate each week.  This diet works indefinitely if maintained to exactly what I have cut out of my diet.  The weight loss will begin tapering off as I loose weight because my body will burn fewer and fewer calories as I get lighter.  The main point here is that you should expect to remain on this reduced calorie diet indefinitely.  Currently I don't have any trouble making it from breakfast to lunch and I don't have trouble making it to dinner as long as dinner occurs at a reasonable hour.  I like dinner at about 6pm, my spouse seems to like dinner around 8pm.  That is currently my difficult period, between 6pm and 8pm since dinner is more often closer to 8pm than any other time.  Its actually better for you all the way around if you have dinner earlier than later since if you eat late, you go to bed digesting food that is likely to be stored as fat while you are asleep. 
At the end of your weight loss period on this diet, you should expect to maintain your diet at its current state unless you begin to fall below your desired weight.  If you fall more than 5 pounds below your desired weight and are still loosing more than 1 pound per week, you should back off slightly on your reduction in calories on a gradual basis until you are losing less than a pound a week.  Your weight loss should taper off until it is at equilibrium and that is where you should maintain your calorie intake.



Down to 234 lbs.   
I have lost a total of 20 pounds, and have covered almost 1/3 of my 64 pound weight loss goal.  I currently have 44 pounds to go.  My diet began 10 weeks ago and has averaged out to exactly 2 pounds per week at this point and considering that I only lost 2 pounds in the first two weeks of the diet, I am losing at a rate of slightly more than 2 pounds per week. 
I would like to note that over the past two weeks I have had fried chicken two times.  The first time I had a large breast and a wing and the second was the left over's where I had two thighs and a drum stick.  I brought this up because I felt like it is one of those foods that you think of as being totally off limits while dieting.  It is one that you must avoid most of the time, but it can be had on an occasional basis.  I probably won't have fried chicken for the next month because it is habit forming and does delay your losing weight.  Think of It as a once and a while treat, and can only be had during a week when all other calorie discounts are falling in properly.  You should also not plan on having any heavy fried foods for two or more weeks after having this type of food.   
Over this past weekend I also had one of my favorites, Sausage and Peppers Rustica, which is an Italian dish with a couple of types of peppers cooked in a red sauce with wedges of sausage put over the top of penne pasta.  That come out to about one fairly heavy dinner time meal per week over the last three weeks, and I still managed to lose 7 pounds during that time.  The reason I have gone into these details is that I want you to know that this diet is fairly flexible with what you eat.  The main concept of the diet is a reduction in the total number of calories per week that you consume.  There is also the factor that during most of each day you are cycling through a slight deficiency in the number of calories you are ingesting and that you are burning.  This gap during the day is one of the prime factors that allow this diet to work very well and you don't suffer in the process.  Think of the pattern most people generally eat.  Three meals per day in fairly regular succession.  If you eat a fairly equal number of calories at each meal, you will always have a fair amount of food in the process of being digested which is delivering at least as many calories as you can burn and through much of that time an excess number of calories that your body will try to store as fat.  If you minimize the number of calories you are consuming during most the early daytime meals, you are allowing your body a break in the number of hours that it has to deal with an excess calorie allowance.  During this time your body can easily pull some of the calories it needs from the fat that you need to lose. 


After you have trained your metabolism that it is not going through periods of starvation, it becomes accustom to the routine of small meals during the day and a fairly normal meal later in the day, it quits signaling you to eat everything in sight.  However as side note, it may be the best idea if you routinely stay out of site of foods that will tempt and call to you throughout the day, since it is easy for these foods to generate a desire to have some, and unless you are a masochist, you don't need tempting foods generating hunger anxieties.  This includes photos, advertising, drifting smells, as well as in sight of the real thing. 




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