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With all this time spent sitting in my house, I thought it would be a great time to try and shed 5 or 6 pounds. Fortunately I have never had a weight problem and recall that in my youth it was suggested I eat a few supplements. Throughout high school I was around 120 pounds. A year or two after being married I began to climb to 150, and in 30 out of the past 40 years have stayed at 165. Suddenly though, without warning, one morning a few weeks ago, my scale tipped at 174 and I went into shock. I tried not eating for two days, which dropped a few pounds, but faintness and dizziness bade me to devour the closest foods I could find. My downfall has always been, and will always be, sweets. Being Dutch I am naturally drawn to chocolate and cake, cookies and ice cream, not to mention cheeses and potatoes, bread and meat… oh and also vegetables… if there happens to be room on my plate. Now I was faced with a challenge: how was I going to lose ten pounds? The internet proved hopeless, with its thousands of methods, which cost a fortune, take a few years or are geared to pill popping. I checked out Atkins and Bernstein, but clearly they are not for me. I looked at points based organizations and although they seem beneficial, I am only looking at losing ten pounds. Surely I can tackle this dilemma myself. I tried cutting back, but had no concept of what was healthy, low in calories, fats, sugars or good for me. Then I checked my iPhone apps and came across MyNetDiary, which seemed easy to use and worked well. I downloaded it and immediately went to my favourite foods. Well, that was depressing! A daily dose of ice cream in a waffle cone is apparently not healthy. That doesn’t make sense. It’s full of calcium and other good stuff. Sure they mix a little sugar in among the vitamins, but really? No more daily ice cream? The app is simple. You tell it how much you weigh and how much you want to weigh. Enter the time frame you choose to lose it in and it tells you how many calories you can eat per day. There are tens of thousands of foods, Canadian as well as American, homemade and store bought, restaurant foods and grocery brand names. If you’re not sure about the food, it allows you to scan the bar-code on all products. You simply enter what you eat, broken down by breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and it gives you the calorie count, salt, sugar and fat counts, as well as many vitamins. The best part is, it gives you your allowable remainder for the day. The app even uses the gyro feature of my IPhone to count steps, and it includes exercise in its calculation. Did I mention it was free? I have been doing this for three weeks now and have shed seven pounds. I will get to my target weight in three more weeks, providing the novelty doesn’t wear off. The big thing is, you have to want to do it, otherwise nothing will work. I will report next month as to my success, and who knows, if you pass me on the street you may not even see me. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, published author, award winning photographer and keynote speaker. Watch his new show ‘ The Jonathan van Bilsen Show’ on Rogers TV, the Standard online and YouTube.

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