Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

The Problem of Advice

RealAppeal has been working for me, even to the extent that I actually am eating slightly better foods. These tend to be incremental improvements: I usually get a fruit smoothie at Panera instead of a frozen mocha. I don't think this is healthy per se, just "less fat and sugar than what I would have otherwise." 

I have been making fruit smoothies at home. My usual recipe at present:
  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 2/3 cup spinach
  • 2/3 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 drink box (11 oz) premier nutrition chocolate protein shake
  • A little maple syrup if I want it sweeter (it's already pretty sweet from the fruit and protein shake, tho.)
I started out using milk instead of the protein shake, and then I thought "a protein shake in this concoction would serve the same purpose of 'making it possible to blend it' as milk, and it would get some protein into this thing." (Milk doesn't have much protein.) And fruit and chocolate go well together, and there's not enough spinach in this to taste it, so why not?

It's actually ... really good? It's creamy and tastes like chocolate and blueberries and bananas. It doesn't seem like it should be at all healthy but there isn't anything in it that's nutritionally void except for the maple syrup. And I'm not using fruit juices in it, just actual whole fruit.  It makes for an enormous smoothie, like 22 oz, and usually I only drink half of it on the first day and the rest on the next. All the fruits and veggies for it store frozen, so I can stock up without worrying about spoilage.

So this was a nice discovery.

A lot of the RealAppeal program just Is Not For Me, though, and a lot of the classes kind of hammer this point home.  Like one recurring theme is the concept that fullness is related to the volume of food that you eat and not to the calorie content. "This giant spinach salad has the same calories as one cheese cube! If you eat the salad you will be full but if you eat the cheese cube you will still be hungry!"

And I'm like ... you are offering me advice, over and over again, that would not solve a problem I don't have. 

First, I'm not going to engage in a diet that leaves me hungry. I know the program thinks I should eat 1200 calories a day so I can lose 2lbs a week and I SUPER DO NOT CARE.  WATCH THE DEPTHS OF MY UNCARINGNESS. If I lose 2lbs a month, that is MORE THAN ENOUGH. I didn't even sign up to lose weight! And I'm losing weight anyway, and I literally never think "I'm hungry, but I've eaten too much today to eat more so I guess I'll stay hungry." NOPETOPUS ON OUT OF THERE.  I do sometimes think "I would like [specific junk food] but I'm not actually hungry so ... why don't I wait until I'm hungry? That seems reasonable." It's not a particular hardship.

Second, my sense of fullness is pretty closely related to the number of calories I eat. There are some outliers -- candy is less filling than its calorie count, for example. But in general, if I have a 1000-calorie plate of pasta alfredo for lunch, I won't be hungry at dinner.  If I have a gigantic 300-calorie salad for lunch, I will be hungry again by dinner, or earlier.  My body doesn't go "well, both meals took up the same visual space so let's treat them as if they offer the same amount of sustenance."  I assume this is weird of me?  But it's true. When I go to Panera and get a frozen mocha with breakfast, I usually am not hungry again until dinner, because there are a ton of calories in that thing. And this is not true of a fruit smoothie.  My body doesn't care that they're physically the same size. They are not equally filling..

Anyway, the coach keeps asking questions like "how are you using these concepts to avoid hunger while dieting?" or "how do you plan to use this idea?" and I have to restrain myself from going "THIS COULD NOT BE MORE IRRELEVANT TO ME." I recognize that there are health benefits to vegetables but "so your body will behave as if you've eaten more food than you really have" is (a) not a health benefit and (b) not true for me. 

I feel like the class is on-balance useful because it keeps me from backsliding. Attending a session online every week is not onerous and even if I don't learn much new from it, it has promoted incremental change. So yay. But there are a lot of times where it's a real struggle not to say something snarky. Hence my decision to rant in a journal entry instead. n_n This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: diary, fitness

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