By no means do I claim to be an expert in weight loss. However, in more than 20 years of watching clients succeed as well as fail at losing weight I can share some of my observations. In no particular order I have noticed that:
If you are sincere in wanting to lose weight, you must be willing to change not just how much you eat, but what you eat. Unfortunately, there is misinformation about ” dieting” and that somehow people can eat less and lose weight. Sure, in the short term, you can cut back on calories and you will lose weight. In the simplest terms, weight loss is a numbers game. If you consistently eat more calories than you burn in a day, you will gain weight. Here is the rub – if it were as simple as cutting back on calories consumed, no one would be struggling with their weight. Most people know how to diet. Most can even succeed at dieting for a day, or a week or a month. Studies show that sooner or later people gain back their weight loss.
Does that mean you are doomed? No matter what you do you will gain the weight back? No, not at all. What you eat is probably more important than how much you eat. Making up your mind to eat less cake or less junk food is unrealistic. Do you know that food manufacturers pay scientists a lot of money to come up with flavor combinations designed to create a vicious cycle of craving for their junk. In over twenty years of training clients, I have never had a client complain to me about their weight and say that if only they did not eat six apples a day, or if they just didn’t have this broccoli habit, they would not have a weight problem. There are three things in combination that light up the pleasure centers in your brain in the same way addictive drugs light up the pleasure centers of your brain. Sugar, salt and fat. That is why McDonalds coats their French fries with a glaze of sugar. Doritos – sugar, salt and fat. Honey roast nuts – sugar, salt and fat. Packaged cookies and cake have a fair amount of sugar salt and fat. It is a fiction that you can eat these items in moderation. You can’t just take one bite. The food companies further this myth because then they are absolved of playing any part in the obesity epidemic. It is not their fault. It is your fault. You just don’t have the willpower. It is very similar to the tobacco companies breeding tobacco plants with higher and higher levels of nicotine so that their cigarettes become ever more addictive.
So, what can you do about this? Stop eating processed food! An easy way to tell if something is processed is by looking at how it is packaged. If it comes wrapped in Mylar, stay away. If it is in the freezer section, unless it is a dozen vegetable with one ingredient, stay away. Deli case – stay away. Buy anything you want in the produce section. Go ahead, bananas don’t make you fat. Potatoes don’t make you fat. It’s the toppings on the baked potato that make you fat. Buy anything in the dried bean section. Beans and legumes are associated with weight loss. Buy any whole grain you enjoy. Brown rice, quinoa, barley – they are delicious and filling.
Eat food that has not been processed. Lose weight, get healthy.