If it is in the house, I will eat it

cute-candy

Countless times I’ve heard people say things like “if it is in the house, I will eat it”, referring to junk food or treats.

This always makes me think about addiction on a sliding scale of social acceptability. On one end of the scale, we have hard core drugs like heroin and on the other end we have cute little M&M’s.

My sliding scale of social acceptability and addiction: Hard Core drugs / recreational drugs / cigarettes / alcohol / gambling / unhealthy food.

When people are struggling with their weight, they look at ‘unhealthy’ food like heroin. They think that they must eliminate it from their reach, out of sight, out of mind. You can’t expect a heroin addict to get clean if their house is stocked with it, right? When people start off their weight loss journey the first thing that they often do is to clean out the kitchen, and rid their house of all the unhealthy food. They then load up on low fat ‘healthy’ food instead. Microwaveable meals and rabbit food, as I like to call it.

The challenge is that, the more socially acceptable the addiction, the harder it is to avoid it. It is just not possible to avoid all the food that makes us gain weight. Just because we avoid it in the home, doesn’t mean that we are not exposed to it at work, on the go, during holidays, etc.

The key is to break the addiction, not attempt to avoid it. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but after avoiding sugar and carbs for a while, the attraction fades away. It gets to the point where you won’t have to avoid carbs; you just won’t want to consume them!

There is another blog post in my brain percolating in the background about how when people purge their houses of the ‘bad’ food, they are really just surrounding themselves with ‘worse’ food. I will cover that one soon!

 

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Those BMI numbers are a waste of time

We’ve all heard this one. People griping about how BMI charts and weight ranges based on height are inaccurate, unattainable, and a waste of time.

I certainly agree that different people have different body types, and targeting a weight solely based off someone’s height isn’t a perfect solution. However, if you are overweight, please don’t look at a BMI calculator or weight chart and decide the given range is ridiculous, therefore excusing yourself from doing anything at all.

Some people think that they would look ‘sick’ or ‘unhealthy’ at the weight listed on a BMI chart. If that is the case, then target 5 or 10 pounds over that range. At least you will be going in the right direction.

And yes, muscle is heavier than fat. But most people that claim this fact don’t have anything to worry about!

An example of a Height/Weight chart:

healthy_weight_range_chart

‘You gotta try this low carb dog food’

Ok I admit it, I’ve got a fat dog. It’s a long story and I will spare you the details but the bottom line is that my 120 pound dog should be about 100 pounds. In my office, it is pretty commonly known that my dog is overweight –  ‘I refer to her as my big fat dumb dog’ – so I had to chuckle recently when a coworker suggested that I use a low carb dog food. My coworker mentioned that their dog easily lost 40 pounds. The weight just fell off they said – no additional exercise needed!

Wait for it, wait for it….. wouldn’t you guess that the same co-worker has tried every fad diet out there. This person (who only has the best intentions) signs up for every Diet Bet, Biggest Loser, and other fitness challenge. One time this coworker printed an article and left it on everyone’s desk about these magic new Chia seeds that we have to add to our diets. For some reason this same person resists going low carb. I can’t explain why??

Anyway, I am going to look into the low carb dog food. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, but at least I will try.

Your body needs carbs…

‘Your body needs carbs to survive’ says the overweight person who is currently on a low fat diet to the skinny person who is enjoys a low carb lifestyle. Pause for irony.

While I generally agree that your body needs carbs to survive, I have an issue with people who use that argument to somehow justify their unsuccessful weight loss. This relates back to a previous post where I commented how sometimes people speak in themes or slogans. They latch onto a phrase or statement that they can use to protect them from having to try something different then they have tried before.

I am aware of ketosis and ketones and all the science that says humans can survive without carbs just fine. In my experience, going low carb is extremely successful and most people do not have to go ‘no’ carb. Everyone is different and everyone has varying levels of tolerance to sugar/carbs/insulin. For me, I can eat carbs that come from veggies, nuts, and cheese with no weight gain. I avoid grains, pastas, and sugar. But I am not telling your what to eat, I am just telling you that if you are struggling to lose weight, cutting the carbs is a great option!

Off Topic – Weight Watchers

This is less of a post about a funny weight lose statements, but more of a comparison of going low carb to Weight Watchers.

In 2011 I started a new less stressful role within my company. It was a great time to focus on my health and at a bit over 200 pounds, I knew just where to start. Side note, 200lbs might not sound like a lot, but at 5’9″ it’s way too much for me. I decided to give the online version of Weight Watchers a try after knowing many people who had success.

I jumped in with both feet and the weight came off, I lost about 30 pounds after about 6 months. I felt like I’d learned a lot about portion control so I was comfortable going off the program to attempt to maintain my new weight all by myself. As I am sure you can guess, within a few months, the weight was back. I was frustrated and I felt cheated. I suffered through snacks made up of carrots/celery, rice puffs, and microwave rubber chicken lunches…. I was always hungry and obsessed with points and counting the minutes until my next meal or snack. When the weight was dropping, I was willing to overlook my misery, but once the honeymoon was over, not so much! The worst part? I was PAYING for this privilege!!

Fast forward until the present time. Low carb just works better for me. I lost more weight, lost it quicker, have not been obsessed with food/hunger, kept the weight off easily…. and the best part, no monthly fees!

What’s your secret?

‘What’s your secret? How do you make it look so easy?’

While there are no secrets to loosing weight, there is one trick. We might be splitting hair (hairs?) here, but I think it is an important distinction. At the risk of sounding like a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist, the weight loss industry is a multi billion dollar per year business. Think about the money spent on: gyms, diets, medications, groups, supplements, at-home equipment… it is staggering. Everyone is in search of the next secret. The easy button… the little thing that will transform them into a smaller person.

You heard it here first, there is no secret. To me, secret means something that few people know about and are reluctant to share. However, there is a trick. A very simple trick to loosing weight, easily, quickly and CHEAPLY. Cut the sugar, cut the carbs. That’s it. Everyone has heard of low carb, it is certainly not a secret. It works, no question about it. There is science to back it up, there are countless stories to back it up, and if you try it for yourself, I am confident that you will soon be wishing that you had started sooner.

 

but, but…., but your cholesterol!

In general, I am not an arguer or an antagonist (antagonizer?). I am ok with people having different views and I don’t try to impose my views on others. If someone says something that I believe or know to be incorrect, I don’t feel the need to point it out.

One thing that does rub me the wrong way however is when people make blanket statements without bothering to do the tiniest amount of learning first. Nearly every human is walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket which is capable if accessing information instantly, yet people prefer to speak in themes or slogans!!

When people are shocked that my diet mainly consists of meat, butter, cheese and other rich foods, they immediately express concern for my cholesterol. My blood tests and lots of research confirm that going low carb and only eating meat and fatty foods does not increase the artery clogging cholesterol. I explain it this way; in the absence of sugar /insulin, the fat in foods does not accumulate and plug up arteries…. don’t believe it? ask Google.

I could never do that, I like carbs too much

When I tell people that I haven’t eaten a sandwich, a cookie, bread, pasta, or candy for over a year I am met with envy and disbelief. Folks either assume that I am lying or I like to torture myself. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been told by someone that they wouldn’t be able to give up sugar/ carbs. If I had a nickel…

The truth is that I honestly don’t miss it. However I can understand why people struggle to believe that. If I didn’t experience it for myself, I would not have believed that the cravings go away. During the 1st month or so, I missed carbs, mainly pizza and sandwiches. What kept me going was the weight coming off so quickly. I didn’t feel hungry and I was loosing weight – things were going too well to risk messing it up.

After a while, I realized that my house was full of sugar and carbs, but I hadn’t really noticed. I have 2 young kids so candy, cereal, pop tarts, bread, bagels, juice is just a fact of life for me. These items no longer had the ‘pull’ that they used to.

The best way I can describe it, is to draw a comparison with smoking. I smoked a little in high school and college but I quit shortly after college. When I see cigarettes now, I recognize how I once enjoyed smoking them, I recognize how other people enjoy smoking them, but there is no pull – no attraction. Sugar is the same, once it is out of your body for a while, you don’t miss it.

But, don’t take my word for it…. try it for yourself and get ready to be surprised!

Run to loose weight

Many people assume that I lost 50 pounds by running. It makes sense right? People look at me and see a skinny guy who runs all the time – of course they assume that running helped me to loose the weight or helps me to maintain my size. That can’t be further from the truth. I lost weight by removing carbs and sugar, then I got serious about running. When I was in my 20’s I ran a lot and life was good but as I got older the running (and cycling) were not as effective at keeping the weight off. As I approached 200 lbs, the injuries started…. that is another whole story, the point here is that I gave up the carbs, the weight fell off, and that allowed me to run further and faster than I’ve ever run before!

Half your body weight in oz. of water

“Take your weight, divide that number in half, then drink that many ounces of water everyday to help loose weight…”

Hey, I am not against hydration. I love hydration. Especially as a cyclist and a runner, I know how important it is to our bodies. Unfortunately overstating its important in the weight loss process is a waste of time. You can drink all the water in the world, you can drink 1st thing in the AM, you can drink a glass of water before meals…. but until you accept that our bodies retain fat/weight due to hormones (insulin) all you will be doing is running to the bathroom, a lot!