Dr. B Centurion
Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Aug. 2006
Location: Clearwater, Florida
Height: 5' 10"
||Posted: June 08 2007,06:13
I'm pretty sure I made up the term "food budgeting" just now, but that's the best way to describe it.
Before the diet I pretty much ate what I wanted, when I wanted, in whatever quantity I wanted, and didn't really give much thought to whether or not I needed it, or what that food was going to do to me. Don't misunderstand, it's not that I didn't comprehend diet and nutrition, I just didn't care.
One of the really valuable, perhaps the most valuable skill I learned on this diet, came from the way Dr. B handles the food budgeting. You're given a daily budget of so many proteins, so many vegetables, so many fruits, etc., and throughout the day, you "spend" that budget by consuming foods. The proteins are special, you can only "spend" so much at one time, and you have to wait at least 4 hours between proteins (kind of like an allowance that you have to wait to get before you can spend it), but the rest of your food allocation is like money in the bank -- you can spend it when you like, but once it's gone, you're done (once you've used up your budget you can't spend/eat any more).
Just like money, you can "go into debt" with food too. Going into debt with food is when you eat more than you're budgeted. Just as debt has consequences with money, it has consequences with food. When you "borrow" against your food budget, your debt is stored as fat on your body. Then you carry that debt around and service the debt until it is gone. If you're like me, I was carrying so much "food debt" from years and years of "borrowing" that the weight of my debt was going to kill me.
Just like money, in order to get out of debt, you have to forego some spending. By doing Dr. B and establishing a new food budget (one that was less than my actual daily caloric needs) I was able to work down my debt. Sure I had to sacrifice along the way, but that's the price you pay for all the overindulgence that got you into debt to begin with.
The important thing is that I now view my daily food consumption as a finite, budgeted thing. I now have the mindset that if I decide to have a salad now, that's fine, but the balance of my food budget left for the rest of the day is reduced -- a trade has been made -- present consumption in exchange for less budget remaining. With this mindset, as I make food choices during the day, I'm constantly assessing "if I eat this now, do I have enough left in the budget to comfortably get me through the day".
I believe this is exactly where you should hope to be by the time you reach your goal weight. You want to be constantly mindful that with the freedom to make your food choices comes the responsibility to "spend" wisely and use your daily budget smartly throughout the day so that it isn't all spent by mid-afternoon and you end up "borrowing" to get you through the day.
Now that I'm on maintenance, I have a bigger daily budget than I did on the strict diet -- but I have still set a well-defined daily budget so that I concretely know when I'm "out of funds" for the day (and therefore can do no more consumption). This has worked very very well for me so far, and I hope this mindset/concept is helpful to some of you.
Being 100% strict is for losers! You want to be a loser don't you?
If you're new to the diet, be sure to check out Question #16 of the Dieters FAQ. It might help save you some needless worry.
American College of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer
ACE Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant