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Mission 4: Choose Smart Diet Actions

I’m not going to give you a diet. I don’t believe for a moment that you would stick to it. Not because of any moral failing, but because your body and mind would rebel.

Physically, your body can react to calorie restriction by becoming more efficient with fewer calories. That’s not what a person with a weight-loss goal wants – we want our bodies to use more calories, not less.

But as anyone who’s ever been on a diet knows, the real saboteur is that grey thing in your head.

Psychologically, your mind reacts to deprivation by wanting what it can’t have. And we know where that leads: binge city.  Deprive yourself consistently and congratulations – you’re the mayor.

As Geneen Roth says, the fourth law of the universe is that for every diet there’s an equal and opposite binge.

So instead of a prescribed eating plan or list of things you can and can’t eat, I’m going to ask you to choose some specific diet actions.

To lose weight, we need to eat less and move more. Over the coming missions we’re going to get very strategic and smart in how we approach each of these prongs, but for now we’re starting simple.

In terms of eating less, we’ll achieve that goal by taking actions in two broad categories: eating less, and eating differently. But they both involve being smart about what we eat.

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70 thoughts on “Mission 4: Choose Smart Diet Actions

  1. Cathy Beale says:

    Smaller sizes, drinking more water (I too am bad for that), choosing the healthier option (eg grain bread over white) and eat at least 1 piece of fruit every day are my goals for this mission.

  2. Pam Morton Cash says:

    This is a hard one. I’m a carnivore. I don’t care much for veggies or fruits. I’ve been eating whole grains and grill instead of fry….I need to eat differently—I need to eat more veggies and fruit, okay–I like squash, carrots, cabbage–I just need to keep them in the fridge and available. What fruit–pears and plums are good when in season–I need to work on the fruits.

  3. Alice Hayes Russell says:

    Eating with a smaller plate, no desserts except on birthday and holidays, and no seconds. Always eat at the table, drink more water, and substitute coffee with tea. I believe all of these are totally doable and am looking forward to making the change!

  4. Kaye Nutman says:

    I have a lovely pristine white oblong plate with a small circular middle which I will use for portion control. The other action has to be alternating drinks with sparkling mineral water with a wedge of lime when we go out – refreshing!

  5. Lorina Limarii says:

    The other missions have been way easier than this one… My mind is totally rebelling at this one! As far as eating differently, I will add water and try to add a fruit or two a day. As for eating less, I could cut down on pre-supper snacking. I need to persuade my mind, though, that that’s ok.

  6. Gail M Helgeson says:

    Most of the healthy eating tips we already follow, sigh, so raising my activity level is going to be the main way to shed weight. Note, I said activity, not exercise. They look the same, but feel different. Yoga to keep my back in line and body flexible, weights to strengthen my shoulders so I can garden & ride my bike in the Spring, etc.
    I do need to increase my water though, which is hard in Winter, especially since coffee does NOT count. And I am trading half of my dessert for the day for a fruit, which cuts about 150 calories a day.

  7. Liz Porter says:

    Drinking more water is a big thing for me. I am not a fan of water by itself so I try to supplement with the Crystal Light packets. I am also going to look at portion sizes. We have a smaller size plate at home so I will be using those plates more often. Less eating out will help because the portions at restaurants are usually huge. We have already cut back on a lot of the so called junk food. We do keep a few things here but mostly things like chips and salsa and/or hummus and pita chips or veggie sticks. I am not a huge fan of sweet things most of the time but the salty snacks sometimes call my name.

  8. Donna Hampton says:

    More water, I have a nasty habit of just not drinking throughout the day. And smaller portions, oh and actually eating breakfast so I don’t head for the junk food. I admit it I’m a meal skipper!

  9. Holea Stroud says:

    Completed 4… This one shouldn’t be too hard for me as many of these things I have already implemented most of them. Everyday I have to be aware of what I am putting in my mouth…. I like it.

  10. Nancy Meffen says:

    Adding a bit of lemon works well for me to drink more water. I would also like to cut out any white sugar or flour from my meals, this will really make a difference in my snacking

  11. Becky Brown says:

    I am going to have a better look at my food choices. I am going to start with the amount of water I intake and the amount of junk food I intake. I also do not eat enough salads or just veggies in general. These are all great starts!

  12. Tracey Dionne Gubbins says:

    I find that when I am eating better I crave lass junk. Today at work I passed up my favorite cupcakes. They actually were right in front of me for an entire meeting and I did not even have the desire to have one. It feels good to be able to feel like you have some control. And sweets are definitely my weakness. Feeling motivated these days.

  13. Robin Rossow Dohne says:

    Today I completed Mission 4. I’ve chosen to eat 10% smaller portions and to eat on smaller dishes. I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables. I love them so this should be easy. I just need to spend more time in the produce aisle. I will drink more water.

  14. Donna Kuiper Hammond says:

    Completed Mission 4! This is a challenge for me; I’m used to choosing some new eating plan, which of course can’t last, and just plan on eating like a normal person when I’ve reached my weight loss goal. That never has worked; I need to eat like a “normal person” starting now! Water is very hard for me; it makes my stomach feel sick. I’m committed to increasing it, however!

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