Why Weight Loss is Not Easy- PART 1
It would seem to be a very simple thing to lose weight. DECREASE calories eaten + INCREASE calories burned = WEIGHT LOSS. In large part this is true, eat less and exercise more and you will lose weight. This is a very mechanical explanation of how a human body works and if we were a furnace this would be true all the time.
Fortunately we are more than just a mechanical body. We are a whole person – living organisms that have different individual food requirements and preferences that are made up of our genetic heritage, our community and our society. Looking at all of these weight loss gets very complex very quickly which explains why so many people have difficulty getting their head around why the simple logical mechanical formula fails them.
Here I want to look at how decreasing calories within the larger picture of a person can work for as many people as possible through – goals, dieting, portioning (in part 1), food quality and food preparation (in part 2).
Know The Real Goal
It is interesting to stop and think what a multi-billion dollar industry has done with the idea of weight loss. Losing weight is almost always a means to an end, not the end in itself. When you see a skinny celebrity promoting the latest diet fad there is the supposed association that you can look like this person, be as success or be a real somebody if you just lose weight, and you should really want this because culturally that is what is important. The odds of any of that happening are dismal, you are being setup for failure and a sucker for the next celebrity fad. In the end it never feels very good.
Something a little less glamorous and dream worthy is when your doctor tells to you need to lose weight. The big difference is the because. A doctor will say you need to lose weight because you need to lower your risk of heart problems, stroke or diabetes. Scary but being alive is definitely better than the alternative.
Aside from either of those extremes you could have a desire to be healthy. The means of losing weight helps you get to your goal of generally feeling better, having more energy, keeping up with the kids, sleeping better, stop snoring, maintain an independent life longer, have more stamina for time with your partner. These are reasonable life changing goals that you can achieve and will make you feel better about yourself and definitely increase your quality of life and most likely mental health.
Having reasonable goals gets you to the next stage of maintaining the weight off. You have gained something you value, your desire to keep it makes it much easier to keep the weight off.
So get to the good stuff, which popular diet works? Didn’t learn that fad diets are usually marketing spin yet. Alright.
A series of impressive studies have been done that look at the effectiveness of different kinds of macronutrient diets, that is, diets that lower or raise fats, carbs and proteins. Guess what, they ALL work at initial weight loss. Some work better for different groups and that is what gets highlighted by the industry. This begs the question, if they all work what is similar between them all … portioning.
Portion control has come out of the unfortunate desire for people to get a good deal. Basically you go to a restaurant or buy something in the grocery store, the bigger and cheaper the better. Who can turn down that overflowing plate of your favourite comfort food? It used to be restaurants and large meals were for celebration times, so you only really feasted a few times a year. Trends change, now people eat out or buy quick convenience food multiple times a week, and even if it is a healthy choice the amount of calories in the meal can be way too much. Breakfast sandwiches really range between 400 to 1400 calories, and that is not even counting if it has a side and the drink that goes with it. Lunch salads sound healthy but they can be worse than the cheeseburger and fries. The 2 big culprits are the type of meat on top (deep fried vs grilled) and the salad dressing. In many cases the salad dressing can almost double the amount of calories in the salad. Typically they portion about 3 times more in the packet than you need for flavouring, even more if the same packet is used for all sized salads. So only using a third of the packet will make a huge difference in the calories in the portion.
At Lakelands we are very dedicated in utilizing the best quality nutritional science that will work for the most people possible. We are also experts at high quality meals prepared by our Red Seal Executive Chef. Have a look at our current menus to see how we put ideas into practice.