What and how you eat
    The Food Pyramid
    Counting calories: a key to diet literacy
    Your activity level
    The best form of exercise
    Chart your weight
    Sustainable agriculture
    Medical condition
    On hunger
    On eating out
    On cooking
    On addiction
    Food as love
    Spiritual Vegetarianism
    On temptation and resolve
    Six months report
    Dieting as meditation
 Grapevine Revisited
 Christmas Letter

This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Jim Andris' Diet

One of my major projects for the year 2004 is to regain control of my body weight, condition, and appearance. Maintaining these things has never been a major problem with me, but it does take time and determination.

Recently, someone noticed that I have been loosing weight and asked me what diet I was on. Without thinking, I replied, "Jim's Diet." I have decided that I would share with you, my reader, my "secrets." Just to save those of you who are busy the time, here are the two major keys: eat less and increase your activity. That will be $100, please!

On the other hand, most people find eating less of the wrong things and doing more of the right things to be quite a challenge, so I will continue to write.

Loosing weight is not the goal, and obesity is not the problem

My experience has been that people who set out to "loose weight" seldom succeed to their own satisfaction. Billions of dollars are spent each year in the weight loss industry, and will continue to be spent. So, let's start at the very beginning, and look at weight objectively and scientifically. The following points, with just a very few exceptions, are valid:

  1. What you weigh is a function of your age and state of physical development.
  2. What you weigh is a function of your sex, build or body type, and inherited tendencies.
  3. What you weigh is a function of what and how you eat, your eating habits.
  4. What you weigh is a function of your activity level, what you do and how you do it.
  5. What you weigh is a function of your state of health or medical condition.

It is these five factors that got you weight where it is today, and it is these five factors that you must acknowledge and/or control as necessary to change your weight.

Some of these factors, you will simply need to acknowledge (1 and 2). The only way to change your age is to wait a while. Physical maturation is seldom under individual control, but simply unfolds in almost all cases. Other things being equal, women (taken as a group) need to eat less than men to avoid overweight, although some women will need more food than some men. There are families which tend to be stocky and families which tend to be slim. By and large, people need to accept these factors, and, if possible, adapt their expectations appropriately.

Other factors are clearly very much under our own control (3 and 4). Whether or not I eat a diet high in fat and sugar or rich in fruits and vegetables is something that I can control. Similarly, I can eat a huge meal a couple of hours before going to bed, or I can space my eating in several smaller meals throughout the day. Whether I take the elevator or walk the stairs, whether I bike to work or drive, whether I walk regularly or prefer to watch TV, these are choices that I can make. In order to change your weight, you must either change what and how you eat or change what you do and how you do it, or both.

Finally, if you are a person with a physical disability, an eating disorder, or a medical condition such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, or heart damage, you will need to deal with this situation in addition to your diet and activity in order to change your weight. However, remember that often, it is improper diet or exercise that leads to medical conditions in the first place.