Why I love moderation and the scale

Yes, sometimes the scale drives me nuts, rarely ever tells me any good news, yet I am grateful for its non-biased input.  I gained 5 pounds, took my time admitting it to myself, then lost it right away.  It’s hard to tell sometimes, as the scale jumps, especially for pms, salty foods.  So, yes, I don’t blink too much when it jumps 5 pounds, as long as it jumps back down within a few days.  But this time, it didn’t.  It stayed up a month, that’s not just noise, and DaNile ain’t just a river in Egypt.  I can’t tell 5 pounds from my haphazardly fitting clothes, and even if I suspected, I can justify it.  I need the scale to keep me honest.  Not sure what caused the gain, I suspect that my veggie/whole food consumption drops as cheese/bread consumption rises.  The scale will let me know, it is too easy for me to go that way.  I am, once again, not overweight.  Barely.  But dropping again!

I’ve been reading summaries of studies, being too lazy (and not so great with statistics) to read them and understand them myself.  First one I liked was about junk food addiction, once again.    Rats were given either no access, restricted access, or extended access to “cafeteria diet”.  Only the rats with extended access became obese, and only these rats had certain brain chemistry changes associated with addiction.  The authors conclude that “common hedonic mechanisms may therefore underlie obesity and drug addiction.”    The rats with restricted access  became neither obese nor showed signs of addiction.  The author compares this to human MRi studies that show OVERCONSUMPTION of highly palatable foods decreases certain dopamine receptors, contributing to reward hyposensitivity.    This is why I feel no need to give up white bread, burgers, pizzza, bacon, ice cream, potato chips.  I recognize these things as not great for weight loss nor health, but I really enjoy them in moderation.  I may eat pizza almost weekly, potato chips, maybe a handful a month, but I enjoy these foods even more due to rarity.  The battle is mostly psychological for me, and I don’t like to feel denied, but I don’t mind moderation, even extreme.

The second post I like talks about the “meat and potatoes” pattern of eating, and what various studies and metastudies show, and don’t show.  And various holes, weaknesses in the studies.  Interesting reading, I like this guy and am glad I found his blog.    Of course I don’t expect to agree 100% with everything he says, but he seems smart, reasonable, and rational, which works for me.  Sorry the post is over a week old, I’m not very punctual with these blog posts.  And just because I take so many, some random pictures.   A man was shot while sitting in a car a block away from where these chickens were last Thursday, only our second murder this year.   Nobody saw anything.  This is my bike route.

Fog rolls in

Free range chickens


4 Responses to “Why I love moderation and the scale”

  1. June 9, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I too need the scale. Clothing helps keep you honest, but the scale knows the real deal. I too understand moderation and that eating those foods you mentioned every once in a while is ok. The problem is that I still sometimes eat for emotional reasons and that can send me on a wild food chase for days [sometimes a week or 2] until I reign myself in. I’m not fat either, although I would like to be in better shape [less jiggly]. Anyway, my head is usually in a positive and good place. I’m sure that I’ve had some “brain chemistry changes” from those years that I did indulge. Thanks for sharing this information.

  2. June 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I 100% know what you are talking about with the scale. I need the scale for accountability. I am used to the monthly fluctuations and have a range that I float in. If I go above that then I just take things really carefully for a few days.

    Thank you for the studies – very interesting!

  3. June 21, 2010 at 4:25 am

    after moving, my fiance doesn’t have a scale, and frankly the 3 weeks of not knowing my weight has been driving me insane!! it’s amazing how much i’ve relied on it to make sure i’m doing the right thing!!

  4. June 23, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Love reading those kinds of studies (and summaries ;)), too. So much interesting information out there.

    I feel the same way about the scale… I don’t like what it tells me, but at least I can’t LIE to myself that way.

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