started dieting on May 15, 2020. Welcome to my journey. So far, I have maintained the same weight (250) for about two months. The other day, I bought the digital versions of 2 books by Dr. Judith S. Beck. I also created my Weight Loss “Advantages Response Card.” The card is key to the strategy of reminding me why I am dieting in the first place.

Today I have to pick a primary diet to try, and a backup diet to default to if the primary diet does not work for me.

Here’s a summary of the Beck Diet Day 2: “Pick Two Reasonable Diets”

  • All diets enable weight loss in the same way: by getting you to eat fewer calories. (I’ve tried calorie counting alone. I did not lose weight, but I did not gain any. I wonder how the Beck diet will be different with counting calories.)
  • According to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, absent regular exercise, people need to limit their daily calorie intake to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories.
  • There are basically two types of diets (some diets are a mixture of the two):
    1. Follow a set eating plan. Provides a detailed prescription for meals and snacks.
      • Pros: You don’t have to think about what to eat.
      • Cons: You might feel like quitting the diet for the day or forever if you eat something not on the meal plan.
    2. Count calories or points. Allows you to choose your own meals and snacks, so long as you stay within a certain number of calories, carbohydrates, or points.
      • Pros: You can still eat the foods you like, just at moderate quantities.
      • Cons: You also have to spend more time planning what you are going to eat. Perhaps this plan gives you too much flexibility in that you could still eat unhealthy foods. Although you could lose weight on an unhealthy diet, eventually your body will fight against you and start to retain weight.
  • Choose a diet that allows you to eat a reasonable variety of foods.
  • Choose a diet with foods you like and can prepare easily.
  • Choose a flexible diet.
  • Share your chosen diet with your healthcare provider to ensure it is nutritionally sound.
  • Modify your diet to include planned indulgences to help you stay with it long term.
  • Learn from your past dieting.
  • Don’t skip meals. Eat small meals more frequently. “Typical ‘crash diets’ fight your body’s natural reaction to starvation. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme in the body that promotes fat storage and it increases tremendously when someone is not taking in enough food.”

Now it’s time to pick my diets. It’s important to know that different cultures have different risks and traditions health. Since I am mostly in this diet thing to improve my health, I am curious to know what type of diet will work best for me overall. As an African American with a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease, eating right for my unique characteristics is a goal. I wonder if I can find a diet that is tailored to my culture?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts and supports a broad range of basic and clinical obesity research. According to the NIDDK, more than three in four African American adults are overweight or obese. 

Past studies have shown that “obese African-American women lose less weight and at a slower rate than Caucasian women do across a variety of treatments including conservative interventions, very low calorie intake, and surgery,” Barakat’s team writes in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

I Googled “diets for Black women” and found the African Heritage Diet. The website states:

African Americans are at higher risk for many chronic diseases compared to other Americans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are 29% more likely to die of all causes than Americans as a whole, and they make 4.5 times as many emergency-room visits for asthma attacks. Various studies have also shown that African Americans are 1.4 to 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes than whites, and have higher rates of obesity.

The diseases we know today, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity, were much less common with traditional diets in earlier times. Scientific studies show that conditions like these skyrocket as traditional diets are left behind. The African Heritage Diet Pyramid is based on scientific research that shows eating like your ancestors can help:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke
  • Avoid or help treat diabetes
  • Fight certain cancers and many chronic diseases
  • Reduce asthma, glaucoma, and kidney disease
  • Nurture healthy babies
  • Achieve a healthy weight and avoid obesity
  • Reduce depression… and more!

O.K. This is going to be my primary diet choice. The African Heritage Diet includes foods prepared easily and affordably. You are encouraged to try any one of the following steps first, then try another, until you have tried them all. Additionally, the African Heritage Diet offers free African recipes and cooking classes. This might be fun since I aspire to create a cookbook with foods that I actually eat.

Now for a backup plan. Since I have my culture covered, I will search for a more general diet. I Googled “which diet is best for me.” One of the options was the Mayo Clinic Diet. Everyone knows that the Mayo Clinic is one of the most trusted sources of medical research on the plant. I figure they can definitely teach me a few things. 

The Mayo Clinic Diet is designed to help you lose 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kilograms) during the initial two-weeks. Afterward, you transition into the second phase where you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a week until you reach your goal weight. I will choose this as my backup diet. 

Next is the daily Beck Diet checklist for day 2.


Today, I also found a weight loss weapon: sugarfree chewing gum. I like Wrigley’s Extra, Watermelon. This is a low calorie answer to the strong urge to chew, which is sometimes an excuse to eat something even when you are full or not hungry in your stomach – which eating adds to your daily calorie count unnecessarily. Even though I am not keeping a calorie diary, I know that fewer calories means less weight gain from day to day.

I usually eat candy or mints while I am at work, walking around and when I’m not helping customers. It keeps me happy. Even though I am not hungry, I just feel like eating or chewing something.

This morning while I was at work, I had three sticks of watermelon gum (only 5 calories a piece) in my apron. I worked a five hour shift and chewed all three pieces of gum – a total of 15 calories as opposed to my typical 400+ calories worth of candy and mints.

Taking swallows intermittently throughout the work shift, I drank one bottle of BODYARMOR mango juice – 120 calories a bottle as opposed to my typical Arizona mango juice that is 100 calories per serving with 4 servings in a 1 Liter bottle (that’s 400 calories – a full meal’s worth in a single drink).

So in my total workday, I went from 800+ calories to a 665 calorie reduction at 120 + 15 = 135. Chewing gum kept me from even thinking about candy or chewinig fistfulls of mints for my whole shift. On my break, I didn’t even buy Peanut M&M’s like I usually do (250 calories a pkg). When I left work, I was not even hungry after consuming only 135 calories during the full workshift. This is astounding since I usually still feel like eating after consuming 800+ calories (not including breakfast) at work before noon!

Are you prone to overeating? Try chewing sugarfree gum for a while to pass the time with fewer calories. It really works!

That’s it for day two.

Best of Mental Health and Wellness,


——————— END ———————

Follow my weight loss journey from the beginning on Facebook. Read My Weight-Loss Journey Day 45. View my weight-loss journey in pictures on Google Photos. Hungry? Check out my cookbook for some awesome recipes!

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