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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

A once-weekly reward makes a big difference

Friday, March 18, 2011

When you think about it mathematically, losing weight is pretty simple. Just burn more calories than you take in. Sounds simple enough, however, when you put it into real-world terms, it is quite difficult.

I enjoy cooking and I love my fair share of Girl Scout cookies, candy, and all sorts of high-calorie foods, so it is hard for me to completely give up the things I really enjoy. That is why I have adopted a method that I learned from a friend of mine who is quite health conscious.

Eating healthier food is made a little more tolerable for people like me who are not used to them by allowing one "cheat meal" per week. What this means is that for one meal per week I throw the diet out the window and eat what I love. For some that may be a giant cheeseburger, for others it might be an ice cream sundae, and for another it could be a plate full of hot wings.

Some people who use this method have described it to me as a way to keep their sanity during the weight loss process. I try to look at it as a weekly reward.

I have noticed over time, my "cheat meal" is beginning to come with consequences. When people who eat unhealthy foods such as fast food on a somewhat regular basis begin to eat healthier food then go back to the fast food, there is usually a message that the body sends (by way of stomachache or frequent visits to the rest room) that the fast food is no longer welcome.

I have begun to notice that the longer I go without certain things, the easier it becomes to resist them. I still have weaknesses such as soda and the vending machine at work. I still have a long way to go, but with a little will power and some self-confidence, I will soon be able to kick those habits as well.

I heard trainer Bob Harper on an episode of NBC's The Biggest Loser tell one of the contestants that cutting the calories is a lot easier than trying to burn them off. That statement has stuck with me and I wanted to let you know about a helpful website. Visit www.myfitnesspal.com. This website is free and allows you to keep track of the calories you consume each day. You enter your age, gender, height, current weight, goal weight, and amount of weight you would like to lose each week and it will calculate how many calories per day you should consume and how many calories you should burn per week.

Through the website, users can follow each other's progress by becoming friends, similar to Facebook. The website contains helpful tips and tools, and most of all a worldwide support system. Take a look. If you join, search for my username "MichaelPommier" and send me a friend request. I would love for you to keep tabs on my progress, as well as check in on yours.

As a side note, I wanted to thank the people of the community who have approached me on the street expressing their kind words regarding my column. One of the things that I love about Fort Scott is that there is no shortage of community support and I am flattered that so many people have already found joy in my column in such a short time.

As always, I welcome you along my journey and I would love to hear from readers about their successes and challenges. Feel free to contact me by phone at (620) 223-1462 or by e-mail at mpommier@fstribune.com.

Michael Pommier
The Shrinking Man