We know so much more these days about diet and nutrition than we did 20 years ago, thanks to hundreds of books, magazine articles, fat loss TV shows, blogs etc on the subject. And yet the average person is fatter compared to 20 years ago. How can that be? How can we know and understand more about losing weight, and yet achieve the opposite?
Well, the fact is that although the average diet contains better quality food, we still kid ourselves, misunderstand things, and expect too much for little effort. Basically, we take the piss.
How we take the piss
Here are 5 scenarios that we have all been in, where we take the piss and then get all surprised when we gain fat, or fail to lose fat if that’s the goal:
We eat well when we can, but there are so many chances to go out for lovely lunches, dinners, drinks with various groups of friends and colleagues that we can’t say no. Chances of fat loss: low.
Big portions of healthy food
You’re eating ‘healthily’ and yet not losing weight – no lunchtime Mars bar, no wine with dinner, no potato waffles or findus crispy pancakes in sight…. Where’s my bloody weight loss?! Making the right choices is all very well, but if you’re still eating too much you won’t lose weight.
Arrgggghhh! “I have red wine and dark chocolate every night…. For the antioxidants, cos they help fight cancer and stuff”. Well yes they contain resveratrol which some dubious studies showed can fight various diseases. But chocolate and wine will also scupper fat loss if you take the piss. What’s higher in resveratrol than wine and chocolate? Pomegranates. So munch on those if it’s so important to you.
Seeing fruit as a Free Food
Listen, fruit is great for fibre and vitamin C etc, but fruit isn’t a free food. They all contain sugar. Sugar messes with insulin levels which messes with your body’s ability to burn fat. So 1-2 pieces of fruit a day are fine. But replacing your daily bag of Skittles with a punnet of grapes to be healthy is taking the piss. And its always better to eat the fruit than drink the juice, so ditch the smoothies and expensive juices.
“I was powerless… I had no other choice!!”
This boils down to ‘I was presented with something tempting and I couldn’t say no’. It was Joan’s birthday and there was cake; your husband wanted a takeaway so you had to; work was shit and there was wine in the fridge; a restaurant had a deal on that was really good value, blah blah blah.
Every day is full of opportunities for us to stuff our bakes. How about these examples: I drove past a bakery so i stopped to get a cake. I walked past a pub so I had to go in for a bottle of wine. That wee shop sells crisps and I like crisps, so I went in for Doritos. Those scenarios seem stupid, but are they really that far removed from the first ones I mentioned? Calories are everywhere, you don’t have to take it upon yourself to consume them all though.
How to stop taking the piss and control your weight
We know deep down when we’re taking the piss and overdoing things. We pretend we’re oblivious, and act shocked when the scales have crept up. But you can easily remember all the piss-taking you’ve done recently if you try.
So here are 3 ways to stop taking the piss:
Keep calories lower than what your body needs
Shocker Alert: Whatever you’re eating, you need to consume less than your body needs to force it to burn fat. That isn’t actually that much compared to what you’re used to. You need to get used to eating less in general.
Say no. Woman-/Man-Up
Stop listening to that monkey in your head telling you to eat it, drink it, have some more, sure you deserve it, etc – that’s the part of your brain that’s seeking immediate joy, not long term happiness from looking after yourself and feeling healthier.
Stop reading and reading and reading…
Stop seeking the holy grail diet that allows you to stuff your bake and get slim. Proper grub, small portions, occasional guilt-free blow outs. That really is it. That is how to live your life and be the weight you want to be. There is no magic diet. There is no superfood that cancels out cake (sadly).
Your next step…
So if you’re trying to lose weight, how about this: next time you’re eating when satiating hunger isn’t the point (because you’re feeling indulgent, or sad or rewarding yourself instead), or you’re having your 3rd big meal out in a week, or gulping down a gallon of Super-Healthy Fruit Smoothie, just stop for a second and ask yourself: