Part of the reason calorie restriction doesn't work that well has to do with metabolism, I gather -- something about your metabolism slowing down when you cut food intake. I'm guessing there are also much more complex body-regulatory mechanisms at work. I haven't really researched the science, but I've definitely tracked a slowdown in weight loss even when I was rigorously cutting calories (and maintaining the same exercise levels). And the gestational diabetes carb-restricted diet was much more effective at weight loss than calorie restriction ever was for me. It was useful counting calories once, just to get a better sense of how many calories are really in an egg (80), or a banana (100), or a fruity mixed drink (300 - 600). Ditto for counting carbs. But counting all the time made me crazy.
So for what it's worth, this is what I hope to do for my body in 2010 (along with the breastfeeding, which I know most of you can't do right now).
- eat when I'm hungry
- drink water when I'm thirsty (I often forget this one)
- sleep eight hours a night whenever possible
- cook a lot of yummy food
- eat small meals frequently (aim for about six a day)
- eat more high-fiber foods; whole grain pasta if I can find a brand I like (I hear Barilla is good), whole grain bread and cereal, vegetables, fruit
- go to the farmer's market regularly once it opens
- consider getting a farm share again
- go a little lighter on the carbs I love -- more protein, etc. (including fat)
- just not buy the foods I tend to gorge on (Pringles, for example -- I swear, they put something addictive in that sour cream and onion powder)
- drink whole milk instead of skim -- fewer carbs, surprisingly
- exercise 20 minutes daily; more is okay if I feel like it
- keep small treats around, so if I want something sweet, I can easily eat a small version of it; a spoon or two of (full-fat) ice cream, a few Hershey kisses
- make plans for our urban garden -- tomatoes, herbs, and who knows what else. chickens?
- aim for a healthy, high-energy body, not just weight loss
- don't stress about it