THE BLOG
01/07/2008 01:18 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Eat What You Love And The Weight Loss Will Follow

Could this be true? What if I love chocolate, French fries, ice cream, cake, candy, etc...? How is this possible?

Well it is possible and there may be wisdom in eating what you love. Have you ever had a really strong craving for say, French fries? I did recently. It was a very specific French fry from a very specific restaurant that I wanted. Freshly made steak fries from a take out place in Malibu, if you must know. We were going to Malibu for the day anyway but I had the thought that I didn't really need those fries and the accompanying calories. So as we walked around, near the fry establishment, I had the fry debate going in my head. You know the one:

"There is no line there now. Just go order them. You know you want them."

"Yes, but I don't really need the 90 calories per ounce worth of fries. Maybe I won't get them this time."

"If you leave now, without those fries, you will regret it."

"Are you threatening me?"

"No, I'm just saying, you will eat everything else you can get your hands on and still not satisfy the fry craving. I'm trying to be helpful here."

"You just want me to be fat."

"Oh yeah? How many calories of food, you don't even really want, do you think you will eat trying to satisfy a possible 400 calorie fry experience? And then still not be satisfied?"

Long story short I did get the fries and ate about half of them. Probably about 400 calories worth and they were really good. In fact I felt too full after that for awhile since I don't eat that way often.

It's the amount of total calories that you take in, on average, which determines your weight. Sometimes, and not always, it is better to go straight to your craving, count the calories, and work it into your diet. Sometimes, it is better to resist and have a lower fat alternative, like baked fries. This is where the Oracle at Delphi had it right, "Know Thyself".

If you don't know yourself yet, and are relatively new to weight loss, here is a tip: play out both scenes and see how you feel. For example, play out the scene where you get the fries. Then play out the scene where you resist them and see how you feel. If the resist scene is fraught with anxiety, deprivation and sadness, get the fries. If instead you feel great and refreshed and strong, don't get the fries.

Here are the weight loss mechanics in a nutshell. Do this and watch what happens:

Write down everything you eat and count the calories.

Figure out how many calories you burn by taking your weight times 10, if you are female, times 12, if you are male. Figure out how many calories a day you get to be the weight you want to be and attempt to live there. Example, if I want to weigh 130 lbs. I get 1,300 calories a day, without exercise.

Weigh yourself everyday, once in the morning and write down the weight. Average it over a week and look at the average weekly weight to track your progress.

You can work anything into your diet if you do it this way. If I only get 1,300 calories a day, I can spend 400 on fries, occasionally. I can also add some physical activity into my day to balance it out. If I walk one mile, and burn an extra 100 calories, I can take in that much more and still be within my daily allotment. It's math.

Good luck, and let me know how you're doing.