Lies We Tell and Excuses We Make for Weight Gain Plus Healthy Diet and Weight Loss Truths
Excuses for Weight Gain
I've lost 100 pounds. I didn't start out fat. I was normal to underweight in college and early adulthood. So obviously, in order to have lost that much and still be normal sized, I must have, at some point gained that much.
So often I hear "I can't lose weight like you did because [insert reason]. I have this or that [insert health condition, disability, stressful situation, life struggle]." News flash--we all have extenuating circumstances. We all face health problems, trials and difficulties. I lost two stillborn babies. I took Paxil (known to cause weight gain) to ease life-threatening depression.
These may (or may not be) reasons for weight gain. They are not excuses to stay fat. We don't control whether or not we have problems. We control how we deal with them. And there are very few problems that losing weight won't at least help a little.
Take health problems, for example. Excess fat creates, causes and exacerbates some health problems--type 2 diabetes, physical disability, exhaustion, chronic pain, cholesterol, hypertension. back and leg pain, liver and heart problems. Not everyone who has these is fat, but being obese or just overweight does predispose you. I know. I struggled with these when I was fat. Now that I have lost, I don't. Few conditions or disabilities can't be improved by losing extra weight. And I started losing when I quit excusing and took steps to erase fat.
When I quit making excuses, I started losing
Excuses for Not Dieting or Losing Weight
I also hear (and have said) "when I [insert condition], I'll lose weight." When I get a better job, find a better partner, husband quits drinking, get out of debt, stop being depressed, then I'll lose weight. For that, read " I don't want to bother dieting right now. Food is my crutch."
Are there challenges in weight loss. Sure. But few if any, are insurmountable. And what problem won't be made better by getting healthier? Some (shame, depression, social awkwardness, insecurity) vastly improve with weight loss.
Or people say to me, "Well, that's easy for you. You can afford special diet food or a personal trainer. I can't." Excuse me, do you live my life? I can't "afford" those things anymore than you can. But I also can't afford to keep getting fatter and sicker, can you? And the good news is, you don't need special stuff. It's free to eat less. In fact, it saves you money! Fresh fruits and vegetables cost the same or less than junk food.
Let's Get Real
Which Diet Fail Do You Struggle Most With?
No Silver Bullet (But Some Helpful Magic Beans)
There's no shortcut where you eat alfredo and Cadbury Creme Eggs and still lose (if you find one, please let me know!) But there are a few magic beans-- supplements that help. I use raspberry ketones, green tea, acai, apple cider vinegar, garcinia cambogia, coconut oil and cinnamon. I still have to count calories and regulate eating and cut portions.
- Look at reasons for weight gain, don't make excuses.
- Forget the silver bullet, try the magic beans.
- Don't believe the myths--count calories
- No more lies--face the fat and beat it.
Diet Half-Truths and False Promises
You've read those internet ads for weight loss products that magick fat off. You didn't need the FDA to tell us they're so much hogwash.
But there's a more insidious diet myth I'm hearing with alarming frequency: pie-in-the-sky (pun intended) claims that you can lose weight without calorie counting. Sorry, but that's triple-dyed hogwash cloaked in quasi-medico posing. The gist seems to be that counting calories is an outdated, micromanaged waste of time. That there are other better ways. What said ways are, besides drugs or surgery, I've never read.
So let me get this straight. We're supposed to stop doing something that has helped generations of people lose weight because..why? It's outdated? So? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Micromanaged waste of time? Weight loss without effort is a nice theory. But that kind of wishful thinking got us fat in the first place. Waste of time? That's just lazy-making. Don't bother adding that 500 calorie pie. It's happen by magic. It's like education advocates saying inventive spelling is better than phonics. Been there, tried that, didn't work.
If we keep repeating the same bad habits, we'll get what we've always gotten--fatter. What's needed is old-fashioned self-discipline that calorie counting provides. Time to stop looking for shortcuts and start rethinking basics: portion size, cravings.
That's coming from 100 pounds lost, not fanciful theory. If some people don't need to count calories, well, bully for them. They're the exception, not the rule.
Foods You Should Eat to Lose
Foods to Avoid
soy (seriously--adds belly fat)
miso or edamame
water with lemon
lean chicken breast
sugar and sugar substitues (both act the same on the body)
starchy, low-fiber grains
flax seed, quinoa, couscous
dark chocolate (yes!)
Greek yogurt dips, dressings, spreads
Lies Obese People Tell Themselves
Bluntly put, overweight people are food addicts. Sure there may be health conditions, thyroid problems etc. Sometimes, we use those as excuses to eat too much, though.
We shield our eating like the alcoholic does drinking. Maybe we don't realize (or want to accept) how many calories are in foods or how small recommended portions are compared to what we eat. Well, the numbers are there. Do the math. Grab lunch at McDonald's--1,300 calories, daily allotted amount used up and you still don't feel full.
Sometimes, it goes deeper psychologically. We lie to ourselves. We don't acknowledge how much we really do weigh (raises hand). We reason, well, at least I'm not as fat as he is. We bemoan that we can't lose weight. But are we really trying? Probably not as hard as we need to.
We "forget" that second slice of pizza. We fudge calorie numbers and round down. We hide and sneak food. We make excuses and comfort eat. We think we're hungry, but really, our bigger bodies just demand more food to satisfy. And that's a vicious cycle that gets worse the fatter we get.
But the only person we're fooling is ourselves. Our bodies know what we're eating. And we don't lose. Sadly the more obese, the more in denial we get.
When I stopped lying to myself, I lost weight
The Good News
All this seems really negative. I probably sound heartless. But I don't write to shame or pose. I learned all this the hard way. And the good news is, obesity is treatable. Fat is reversible. Dieting isn't easy, but it is simple--simple math. Less food in, more exercise, less fat on, sooner or later. If you have to lose weight, please do yourself a favor and do it sooner rather than later.