Blogs like this can sometimes be unpopular. This is mostly because I think its title gets misunderstood. It was my weight loss coach, Harvey Brooker, who first said these words to me.
I would first like to dissect what the statement does not say:
- It does not say that we cannot have food that tastes good; and
- It does not say that we cannot enjoy our food
Hearing these words seems to force people to go into a certain kind of shutdown. Their gut reaction is to disagree, that it is too extreme and unrealistic. They exclaim “My food needs to taste good, or I’ll go off-track!” I think, when they say things like this, they are reacting to something they thought I said, but that I didn’t actually say.
I believe they heard me say that their food must be bland. It must be tasteless. It can only be used as fuel, never again to be enjoyed. And nothing could be further from the truth of what I believe about food.
There has been a lot of talk lately about foods being “hyper-palatable” (translation: addictive). The claim is being made that the food industry “engineers” processed foods to have a maximum “WOW” effect when consumed. This hooks the consumer, and they come back for more, more often.
I see no evidence that this is not the case, and in fact much evidence that corroborates it.
So, when I say that our food can’t taste TOO good, it’s the hyper-palatable, processed foods I’m suggesting we need to avoid. They are just too addictive, too hard to control. Having been in the business of helping people to lose weight for 14 years, I have seen it happen time and time again. People do well losing weight while they abstain, but some occasion comes along, or some crisis happens, and they have “just one.”
And then, sadly, they sink back into the vortex of overeating, and weight gain ensues. Is it worth it? I don’t think so.
Abysmal Weight Loss Statistics
I am in the process of writing a more comprehensive article on how few people actually maintain weight loss long-term. All you need to do is Google “successful weight loss statistics,” and you will see for yourself how grim the situation really is. People are failing to maintain weight loss longer-term. And this is something to be concerned about. We are not approaching the process correctly, that much is indisputable.
Statistics show that almost 2/3 of Canadians are overweight or obese, and more than 70% of Americans fall into that category. Yet the “popular” opinion is that we can continue to eat “cheat” (tr: “hyper-palatable” foods) periodically yet maintain weight loss.
So, most people are at overweight, and this same majority also believes that cheating with “hyper-palatable” treats is ok. Can you see the problem? The popular opinion is being espoused by those who haven’t been able to make it work in their lives.
And this is compounded by “weight loss professionals” who have never struggled with being overweight, who give the same advice, because they can control their intake of these foods. They naturally assume that all overweight/obese people can too; and this is not true.
If I’m overweight (and I once was – 95 lbs overweight), then it’s just different for me than it is for the average naturally-slim person. But I didn’t know this at first, so I held onto hyper-palatable foods, thinking I could manage them. I had to learn, the hard way, that food and eating was different for me than it was for “normal” slim people. That finally explained why I ate too much of the wrong stuff too often and struggled with obesity as a result. I had to finally accept that I wasn’t the same as these others, and I had to re-jig my thinking around which foods I could, and could not consume.
Grieving the Loss of an Old Friend
So, I had to say goodbye to certain foods. I just couldn’t eat them anymore. They got me into too much trouble. I knew what those foods were by looking at the ones I obsessed over, the ones I craved, the ones I couldn’t WAIT until I could eat again. These are the hyper-palatable treats that would derail me every time. I don’t think that many who struggle with overweight/obesity are much different than I am.
Enter a new type of “delicious.” The type that comes with making REAL food, at home, using herbs, spices, natural ingredients to enhance the flavour. Indian cuisine is some of my favourite. Truly delicious, but no extra flours, sugars, starches or additives that convert it from “delicious” to “hyper-palatable.” These “delicious” foods I can truly enjoy, but stop at one serving, if that’s what I want. The hyper-palatable ones I may be able to stop after one, but it’s a struggle. I don’t need to be wasting that energy any longer.
So, today I make my food taste good. But not TOO good. TOO good has TOO OFTEN taken me back down into the pit of weight gain.
I had to let go of some old food “friends,” and grieve that loss like I would losing any real-life friend.
Only You Can Tell What Foods are Your Problem Foods
Maybe you’re not the same as I am, but I’m willing to be that many (most?) of you are. Foods that are a problem for you might not be for me, and vice-versa. But if 70% of society is overweight, it suggests to me that something needs to change, if we’re going to start winning at the game of losing weight.
Get this: in the National Weight Control Registry, the #1 thing that 98% of successful weight “losers” did was to modify how they ate. The Registry doesn’t say exactly what this means, but I’m willing to be that each person had to, in some way, change their relationship with their favourite foods. And that’s what I’m talking about. What foods do you need to change your relationship with that keep dragging you down?
What you need to change might be different from what I need to change, but something needs to change. And most likely it will revolve around those foods we find hard to resist.
The more we argue with this, try to prove it wrong, or try to ignore it, the more overweight and obese we seem to become. Nobody who is overweight wants to give anything up, yet they still want to lose weight. That’s why weight loss programs that promise this are so successful – at getting clients; not at getting their clients results. Their long-term results are abysmal.
What are you willing to consider changing to finally kickstart your weight loss program? What are you willing to give up so that you can finally get this thing done? Has the pain of staying the same exceeded the pain of change for you?
Who Am I?
If you’re finally ready, you might be an ideal candidate to work with me. My focus is twofold; first, helping people to get in better shape. I’m really good at that. But I also LOVE helping people who have struggled most of their lives to lose weight, with little or no success. I have a unique, 3-tiered process, that dials in a program customized to meet your needs, and maximize your chance of success:
- We UNCOVER – we identify the blocks that have held you back from losing weight in the past
- We DISCOVER – we identify what works for you, and apply it to your exercise and eating life; and
- We DISCARD – we give you the tools you need to fid yourself of the obstacles that have held you back from success in the past
I do online or in-person personal training, and online or in-person weight loss coaching. If you need help losing weight, or just getting in better shape, I have the expertise to help you get results!
Why not fill out this form here [hyperlink to www.fitin20.ca/contact], to see if you qualify to work with me? Alternately you can call/text at 647-677-6025. The consultation is free; you’ve got nothing to lose except for the weight!
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