Today I’m using my medical knowledge to tackle a big topic – no pun intended.
Medical school takes six years, then add the five for biomedicine and on top of that hours and hours, evenings and weekends spend reading articles related to nutrition, lifestyle and health – and this is what you get. Two bizzare ideas – that I think are the actual truth about weight loss.
Losing weight is a very complex and difficult issue, and you might need to come back to this blog post and use many others for inspiration on your weight loss journey.
But, there is something about the secrets in this post that just might change the way you look at weight loss… or at least laugh at my silly ideas, haha.
The first bizarre thing I think about weight loss is…
1. The first step to losing weight is not gaining it
The first step to losing weight it not gaining it? Nice no-brainer, Ana.
But still – solid gold truth.
The biggest challenge in weight loss we face today is not the losing of weight, but actually the not gaining even more of it in the first place. Did you know that an average person in the Western world is expected to gain 20 kilos over a period of 20 years? The food that is offered to us is fattening, the marketing of food is un-transparent and the job opportunities mostly involve settling for a sedentary existence. We are swimming in an abudance of food, with most calorie rich foods costing the least money. There is a stigma towards people who are overweight, all the while more and more people are gaining weight. Millions of people are in this boat together.
Dieting experts say that when you look at long-term effects, no diet works. As far as they are concerned, it is practically impossible to lose weight and keep it off permanently. They say every diet is just a jo-jo diet in the end, with the person ending up gaining the weight back or gaining even more of it eventually. This has to do with a whole lot of biological cues in the body.
Which somehow makes it impossible for me to not form the conclusion that:
Whatever weight you are right now, the biggest weight loss favor you can do yourself is to keep your weight steady.
The world is against you when it comes to keeping a steady weight. Therefore, keeping a steady weight is in itself a wonderful achievement and something to appreciate!
Now onto the second bizarre thing I think about weight loss.
2. The only way to lose weight is to eat more
The only way to lose weight is to eat more. Wha-what? Let me explain.
Have you ever been on a diet? If yes, you know the feeling of waiting to be allowed to have your next meal/snack/food. I hate that feeling. It’s one of the worse feelings of desperation, causing fatigue and a general sense of fixation on food.
Which is what it’s supposed to do. Because evolutionarily speaking, you are supposed to feel miserable when you feel hungry – so that you can go out and find food before you die. Which is basically the only thing I can think about if I am dieting: Find food. Before dieee… *finds food* Oh, omnomnom.
How about trying to shift this paradigm – eating enough to actually feel full, so that you don’t have to be tortured daily by that feeling of hunger. Imagine the amount of misery you could prevent?
There is just one catch. As soon as you try this strategy for weight loss, you will realise that some foods you can eat a ton of and still not feel full. These foods are not your friend.
You need to eat delicious, flavorful meals that will keep you feeling full. This is where plant-based meals come in. Eat fruits, eat veggies, eat wholegrains. Enjoy your food, indulge if you must. This is the result we are going for.
Because, when it comes to weight loss, is not what is eaten at meals, but what is eaten when alone. At meals, you try to be a sensible person and not over eat. Then, later on when you’re alone, you get that bursting urge to snack and you end up eating a bag of chips, a kilo of cheese and a bar of chocolate. I get to say this, because I eat even more cookies in private than I do in public.
But, this is wrong.
The general rule of thumb should be to:
- eat proper meals when you are hungry, and not eat when you are not hungry.
If that means you order an appetizer, main course and a side dish during dinner, so be it. Doing that is way better than ordering a salad and then snacking on junk food later at night.
There is just one exception to the eating-when-hungry rule of thumb: distinguish the feeling of hunger from just being tired. Being tired can cause you to feel hungry, which is why many people (including myself) end up mindlessly eating late at night.
Hence, it is generally a good idea to:
- have all your meals before 8PM (or 10PM if living in cultures that eat dinner late).
In the beginning of trying to adopt this habit, you might find yourself cramming snacks in before the clock strikes 8. But, this is only temporary. After a while, your body will get used to not snacking at night, saving you hundreds of calories per day (since the foods eaten as a midnight snack are often quite caloric).
These are the two bizzare things I think about weight loss. Hope you enjoyed the post and got inspired, and thank you for dropping by Ana’s Bananas!
Will you be trying these tips or have you tried them before? Reach out in the comments below!
There is so much more to say on the subjec of weight loss, to be continued…!