I wrote a diet book back in 2013, but I started my latest diet in mid March, about a month and a half ago. I weighed myself today, as I do every morning, and I saw that at last I had reached a very important milestone. I’m not at my goal weight yet and I’m not even convinced that my goal weight isn’t just a few pounds too heavy, but I did see that I had achieved a nice, round number.

I live in Europe and so my scales don’t use the British system of stones that I grew up with, or the American system that I know quite well from TV shows and the movies. Instead I have a metric set of bathroom scales marked out in kilograms. My target weight is 77 kilograms, which is about 170 pounds.

This morning my scales told me that my weight was 80 kilograms, which is about 176 pounds, and is well on the way to where I want to be. I have a big, easy-read dial on my scales so the number 80 is huge in it, and the red needle showing my weight rested between the number eight and the zero. I have to report that I felt a huge rush of pleasure at the sight. I was grinning like a loon. It’s just a number of course, no more significant than when I hit 81 kilos, or 82, or any of the fractions in between, but it somehow felt a lot better than any of these other minor victories on my journey - my long, long journey - to my target weight.


The Mindset Diet Read The Mindset Diet

If complex diet plans and fitness regimens have never worked for you, and you are constantly losing the mental battle to steer clear of junk food, then the Mindset Diet may be for you. A combination of old-school calorie counting and insights into the psychology of appetite are combined to give you the best possible chance of losing weight, available at this link.



In fact, the feeling of pleasure I got at seeing that big number 80 got me thinking about gamification, and about how we humans are wired to respond to activities that have been gamified. I have begun to notice how much like a game dieting is, for example, when I am trying to hit my calorie count every day. I monitor my progress with an app that records my calories in little bars. Every day gets a bar that varies in height depending on how many calories I have shoved into the hole in my face that day, with taller bars for higher calorie counts. There is a little dotted line across these bars representing the calorie target I should be hitting - or beating. For me that magic number, as determined by my app, is 1,729, which is oddly specific, I know.

On days when I eat more than this number of calories, and such days have thankfully been rare - coinciding with Easter when I binged on chocolate eggs, for example - the bar turns from an encouraging shade of green to an angry red. I have noticed how loath I have become to break a streak of green bars with a red one or two. It feels like a game of hacky sack - like in that episode of the Big Bang Theory - where you just want to get one more hit before the sack hits the ground.

In a similar way, I feel more and more the urge to go one more day without a red bar. It gets addictive, like playing a game, and helps give me the willpower not to snack at the end of the day. That was always one of my downfalls, by the way, snacking before bed on high-calorie snacks, like potato chips or chocolate cookies, while watching Netflix.

Now, mindful of the green bar I have been nursing since morning, I will keep a few calories to the end of the day just so I can have a couple of chocolate cookies before bed. But if having just one more biscuit will turn my bar red, even if that’s because I only eat two or three more calories than my budget will allow, I now have the willpower required to put that half-eaten packet of chocolate cookies back in the kitchen and not touch it again.

If you had told me, just a couple of months ago, that I would have the willpower to put away a packet of chocolate cookies before every last crumb had been eaten, I would have found it difficult to believe, but now, thanks to gamification, I guess, I’m absolutely getting used to the idea. In fact I have a veritable elephants’ graveyard of half-eaten candy in a high cupboard in the kitchen. It includes two packets of chocolate cookies, a packet of jelly beans, a packet of M&M’s, a packet of jelly crocodiles, and many more.

Just knowing all these candies are there makes me feel great about myself, and this newly discovered and steely vein of willpower that I did not know was lurking within my character. I wouldn’t like you to think I’m perfect though. I still have a terrible weakness when confronted with potato chips. Potato chips are sold in the supermarket in bags ranging in size from 130 grams to 200 grams, or even more. That translates to about 700 calories at the low end to over a thousand at the high end, or even multiples of a thousand. Obviously that is way too many calories to easily fit into a day’s eating if you only have 1,729 calories in your budget. It can be done, but breakfast lunch and dinner have to be slimmed down to ridiculously thin pickings to free up those calories.

I still do not have the will power to close a bag of potato chips and put it in the elephants’ graveyard of snacks in the kitchen. Luckily I know this about myself and I do have the willpower, in the supermarket, not to put one of these huge bags in my shopping cart in the first place. Why I should be able to resist cookies but be unable to ignore the call of potato chips is mysterious to me, but that is human psychology for you. It doesn’t always make sense.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my pleasure at hitting 80 kilos with the world, and of course give my diet book a quick plug. More news will follow as further milestones on my weight loss journey occur.


The Mindset Diet Read The Mindset Diet

If complex diet plans and fitness regimens have never worked for you, and you are constantly losing the mental battle to steer clear of junk food, then the Mindset Diet may be for you. A combination of old-school calorie counting and insights into the psychology of appetite are combined to give you the best possible chance of losing weight, available at this link.