For the last six years or so, I have been driving around the country meeting people and delivering talks about healthy living.
Most places I go, most folks I meet, in general, most people want to lose some weight.
First we have to be specific – it’s body fat we want to lose, not just ‘weight’.
I mean, rapid weight loss is easy…you could lose 25 pounds by tomorrow if you just chop one leg off, but that’s probably going to ruin your week overall, so I don’t think it’s a very smart idea.
It’s body fat that most folks want to lose.
Calories in, calories out
You’ve heard this bit before.
There are many diets, many systems, many protocols, but the overwhelming majority of them work on the basic principle that you have to eat a little less food, and generally eat “better food choices” (we’ll come to that in a sec) and you might have to move your tush a bit more.
Really, that’s it, that’s how diets work.
Eat better food choices, that’s definitely a part of the equation. One size does not fit all, we are all different, and so some of us are going to do well on one certain diet, such as low-carb, while others may not.
Some aspects of eating ‘better’ will apply to most people –
- Reduce consumption of hyper-palatable foods
- Cut back on refined sugar
- Cut back on alcohol
- Cut back on snacks, confectionery, eating between meals
Of course, there is a strong argument to say that these are all just examples of “eat less” – cutting these foods from your diet will almost certainly cut your calorie intake.
And so it is, the amazing secret to losing weight. You have to consume fewer calories than you use.
Really, in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases, folks became overweight in the first place because they went for a prolonged period of time (maybe a few months, maybe a few decades) consuming more calories than they were burning.
Now, to burn off that unwanted fat weight, they have to put that process into reverse for a prolonged period of time – maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe a few years.
No doubt, some folks are reading this and screaming…
It’s a bit more complicated than that!!
Sure, it is, but don’t let that stop you trying.
That’s not me being facetious or flippant, just trying to help you to see the true path forwards.
There are a thousand experts out there offering you a thousand reasons why you are overweight, and a thousand excuses why it’s not all your fault, and a thousand reasons why diets won’t work and won’t help.
In one way or another, for one person or another, they are all right.
But as I already said, one size does not fit all, and while each and every reason, or excuse, may fit for someone, it does not mean that every reason fits for everyone. It does not mean that every reason fits for you.
- Sure, that man was beaten daily by his father as a child and he eats as an act of rebellion.
- Sadly, that lady was abused when she was young, and she eats as an escape.
- True, that other man was raised in poverty and his parents instilled unhealthy food habits in him which now lead to habitual over-eating.
- Indeed, that lady has a thyroid problem, or a glandular condition, or a hormone imbalance, and it makes weight loss very difficult.
- Certainly, that guy has a genetic predisposition to obesity, and certain food types (such as carbs) exacerbate his weight gain.
- Sure, that girl has a metabolic imbalance caused by years of eating certain foods when she was growing up.
- And yes, that man takes prescription steroids for his skin condition, and they promote weight gain.
- And on and on.
Yes, these are all true for someone, but none of them are true for everyone.
So, in the short time and small space I have available in this blog post, let’s not debate every possible reason in exhaustive detail, but let’s understand and agree that those conditions broadly only affect a very small percentage of the population. Not even 1% have a glandular condition, the true number is tiny.
For the overwhelming majority of folks, losing weight means you gotta eat fewer calories, you gotta eat better, by opting for fresh whole foods, not processed hyper-palatable foods, and you gotta move a little more, by keeping busy, and playing some sport or enjoying some exercise.
For the few who are struggling against those problems, let’s offer them our understanding, our kind support, and a helping hand.
For everyone else, for the 90%, stop looking for justifications, stop looking for excuses.
Go on then, get cracking.