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Every now and then, when I suffer cognitive arrest, I wander onto blogs and forums about diet and weight loss. (And each time I emerge dumber than I already am.)
Of course, there are some very useful blogs written by some intelligent individuals. But often the discussions that ensue in the comment sections are a glimpse into the deep confusion surrounding diet.
Readers of these blogs leave comments — sometimes in the form of rhetorical questions — that imply their well-read perspectives, or that suggest a single resolution to weight loss. Never mind that there are bio-individuality, epigenetics, psychology, and multiple other factors.
Complex mechanisms probably exist and contribute to our culture’s expanding underbelly, and I’ve read about some compelling evidence even among the weakest of hypothesis.
But I’m not here to debate for or against them. I’m here to tell you that, while blogs and forums crackle with debate and reek of pedantry, it’s time for us to take accountability for our own weight loss.
No single diet works for everyone. But the one that seems to work really well is the classic one that grandma told us about: Eat our vegetables, and don’t snack because it will ruin dinner. (There’s nothing cutting edge about it.)
What grandma was saying is this: eat mostly whole, real food, and don’t eat more than we need. And she might have even said: eat less if we’re getting “a little pudgy.” (Her description, not mine.)
It was that simple.
But in today’s free market, mass consumption permeates our environment, courses our blood, and covers our dinner plates. Two-thirds of our population have allowed it to expand the waistline and the hips, and in effect facilitated a billion-dollar market of diet books and weight-loss programs, unwittingly burying grandma’s simple advice like a dandelion in a hurricane.
It’s no longer easy to hear and to follow grandma’s advice. If we want to get back to those days of simplicity, we now need a lifestyle change:
- Purchase mostly whole, real food
- Don’t frequent places that sell crap food with low-quality ingredients
- Don’t go down the aisle that sell packaged calories
- Go for a walk rather than go for a snack
- Have a “walk date” rather than a lunch date
- Keep yourself busy (create something, build something, do your work)
- Limit internet time
- Slow down and enjoy your meal
- If you can’t slow down and enjoy your meal, then don’t eat it
- If you’re going to eat your sinful dessert, then thoroughly enjoy it
- Whether you finish your dinner or not, there will always be starving children somewhere (change your belief)
- Stop reading hypothesis and theories on what makes you fat, and do what makes you lean
- Exercise a little, move a lot
- Watch less TV
- Get up more often
- Be positive in life
- Get more sleep
- Live a balance life
- Be kind
- Enjoy each other
You need a lifestyle change that brings you back to the basics of consuming less and of losing weight.
While losing weight is simple in concept, it isn’t easy in practice — and that’s probably why so many fail: an absence of a long-term lifestyle change.
This is what makes dietary debate of today so addictive: in it we are guaranteed to find an excuse for our failure, whether they’re real or not. (Oh, it’s my broken metabolism. Oh, it’s the carbs.)
Let’s take on accountability. Make a long-term lifestyle change. Eat mostly whole, real food. Don’t overeat. Eat less if you’ve become “a little pudgy.”
Let them debate, and let us lose weight.