Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yes, it is a Hell of a Lot More Fun to Put on Weight

Putting on weight is so easy and fun. You get to be lazy, hang around on the sofa, and eat ice cream, cake, cookies, pie, french fries and anything else your heart desires.

Losing weight, on the other hand, is a bitch. You have to put in long hours of exercise for minimal calories burned. Hell, 40 minutes on a tread-mill won't even burn off one Big Whopper. You also have to eat next to nothing, and what you do eat has to be mostly fruits and vegetables.

There's an amusing piece in the New York Times today about using phone applications to count calories. It actually sounds like a good app, and if I had an iPhone, I'd be inclined to use it myself.

You can find the entire article here:

Here's some of what she has to say:

"Actually, it was a new iPhone app called Lose It! Which sounds like a diet, if you ask me. For weeks he’d been keeping a food diary on his phone — all the calories he ate, and all the calories he burned — and it was constantly generating cool little charts and graphs to let him know whether he was meeting his goals.
“I’ve lost 12 pounds,” he said.
“Get it for me,” I hissed. “Now.”
Less than a minute
later, my husband had downloaded it to my phone and was entering a few personal data points — such as my age, weight and gender — to create a custom weight-loss plan.
Well, semi-custom. I couldn’t actually bring myself to get onto a
scale, so I guesstimated the “current weight” number.
“How much do you want
to lose?” my husband asked.
“Five hundred pounds a week,” I said.
Instead he set it for a half-pound a week, which he thought was a reasonable goal for my new lifestyle. Lose It! said I could eat 1,630 calories a day.
This is precisely the point where a typical “lifestyle” plan falls apart, unless your lifestyle involves, say, a penal colony. I’ve had breakfasts bigger than 1,630 calories.
But I decided to give it a shot. Lose It! has its own database
listing the calories in a few thousand different foods. And if a food was not listed? I could always find it in another iPhone app, the LiveStrong calorie counter, which lists 450,000 foods.
At breakfast the first day, everything went fine, at first. I had teensy portions of Raisin Bran, Greek yogurt, sliced
banana, blueberries and coffee with milk. But then I typed in the meager quantities, and was shocked — 499 calories for a breakfast that didn’t even include bacon or butter.
When you’re serious about keeping a food journal,
this is the kind of disturbing news you learn all the time: how much more you are eating than you think you are eating.
But because this was the first dayof the rest of my lifestyle, I stayed upbeat. There was a helpful bar graph that
indicated I still could eat another 1,131 calories before midnight.
I checked the database to plan a dinner menu. But when I saw that five ounces of white wine, alone, totaled 121, I knew emergency exercise would be necessary.
So I spent the afternoon building up a calorie reserve. According to the database, walking for 40 minutes was worth an extra 105 calories; an hour of doubles tennis, an additional 345.
At midnight, I finally relaxed. I had come in 196
calories under the allotment, which earned me a calm, congratulatory blue line on my bar graph.
I was hooked. Before I knew it, I had joined my husband at
the table, meal after meal, punching in calories as if we were scoring a boxing match.
“What did you give the salmon?” he’d ask.
“I’m calling it ‘Alaskan chinook, broiled,’ so we brought six ounces in at under 300,” I’d say."

That's right, losing weight is never easy, but putting it on is tons of fun (and you'll eventually weigh a ton as well).

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