The weight loss diet industry has been a thriving business since, well, long before my emergence from the womb. Throughout my corporeal existence I have seen many diet fads come and go. No fat was once all the rage, then there was high protein, various shake concoctions, low carb and numerous other category specific proscriptions. Yet, I look around and still see behemoths on motorized carts who have been on diets.
Various “experts” have theorized that all of these diets have failed for specific reasons. I contend that such experts have failed in providing an accurate analysis because they are trying to make a simple explanation seem complicated. They do this so as to justify the need for their expertise.
You could have me look at a car which won’t start and I could give a long-winded explanation using the auto mechanic jargon while providing the technical reasons. The fuel pump is failing to deliver an appropriate amount of fuel to the combustion chambers relevant to the air content, which is regulated by the air/fuel mixture valve, being sufficient for the spark plug to ignite and produce deflagration of the fuel. Or I could say, It’s out of gas.
In similarly simple terms, diets don’t fail; people do. So here I will give you a simple two-step plan for easy weight loss.
Step 1: Eat Food
That seems obvious and it should. People often overlook the obvious though. Think of the combustion engine that wouldn’t start. Simply eating food, regardless of amount, will result in weight loss for an overweight person. Food is that which feeds. To feed is to nourish. Thus, food is that which nourishes the body; provides for cell growth and replacement, maintains and replaces neurotransmission minerals, maintains homeostasis, and provides a source of workload energy. Whatever does that is a food.
Step 2: Maintain a Food Journal
This is a corollary to an expenditures journal which, when maintained, reduces spending. A food journal simply details what was eaten and when. It can also be supplemented to include feelings or drug use as associated with foods. Here is my food journal for a recent day.
1900 smoothie - banana, apple, peach, pear, fenugreek powder, licorice powder, ginger powder, ginkgo powder
This is rather typical for my daily eating. I do enjoy eating. Here I have indicated when sugar, salt or oil was added to the food but presumably washed off by me. If I eat at the buffet and get a slab of Salmon with some unidentifiable goo on it then I simply wash it and enter it in the journal as “salmon”. Cardinal rule I follow is - I do not eat what I cannot identify.
As you can see it is quite simple to write down every food ingredient consumed throughout the day. Don’t be put off by the length of my list as I consume much more food [daily about 6-7% of body weight not inclusive of drink] than is typical of most people. I do enjoy eating and I likely have a higher caloric output than most people. If done electronically [not preferred] the copy and paste function can make it easier but diminishes a purpose of maintaining a food journal and allows for entries to be easily skipped if the device is not available. A small notebook is preferable.
My food consumption varies widely as I will eat any fruit or vegetable. I do eat the entire food except for onion and pineapple for which I remove their coverings. I generally eat almonds, hot peppers and garlic on a daily basis but my stock was depleted on this particular day.
Maintaining a food journal does not mean that you must forgo restaurants. As one of my weight loss clients said, “I can still go out to eat and be healthy. Even gas stations have fresh fruit available.” Here is the ingredient list for a Subway Monterey Cheddar bun which was obtained from the Subway website; wheat flour, water, yeast, sugar, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, salt, sunflower lecithin, ascorbic acid, yeast extract, Vitamin D2, enzymes, cultured pasteurized milk, annatto color, potato starch, powdered cellulose, natamycin. Add to that the selected fresh contents plus the ingredients list, also obtainable from the website, of any goo squirted onto the fresh contents.
So, even if you don’t prepare your own food it is still easy to maintain the food journal by writing down the ingredients from a website. If you select a candy or other snack from a bowl around the office just ask whomever is responsible to see the package or get the product name so you may obtain the ingredient list for such rote consumption.
Another general dietary principle to follow is to avoid added sugars. That is one of the things on my list of Laws of Contradictory Inverse Proportional Relations. The Sugar Principle says as food availability and security increases, while the rate of technology and automation place lower caloric demands on humans for them to maintain the necessities of living, the caloric density of foods increase.
We are no longer a hunting and gathering population looking for high calorie foods to meet our bodies’ high calorie demands from great physical exertion. Neither do we need to maintain a large store of fat to survive periods of food scarcity. Through the conflux of these factors low calorie foods eaten purely for enjoyment should now be more prevalent. However, the opposite is true. So why this contradiction? Food adulterers often add sugar to their products to give the perception of greater value by having a higher calorie to dollar ratio. I have seen sugar added to canned Sardines.
Another reason sugar is added to foods is so manufacturers can recover some costs for foods that spoiled or became moldy. You’ll notice this in canned pastas or nut butters. They are heated to high temperatures and then sugar and salt are added to mask the rotten flavour and to help boost any retained original flavour. So, it is best overall to avoid anything that has any added sugars.
The final dietary principle I suggest for people to follow is to identify the nutritional benefit of each ingredient consumed. Are you aware of the nutritional value of consuming maltitol? How about FD&C Blue No. 5? Look at ADHD and other anxiety related neurological conditions.
In closing I dispel the popular myth that humans naturally get fatter as they age. It is common and normal to do so when normal is presented in the context of what usually happens. However, there is no direct correlation between normal and natural here. Humans get fatter as they age because of a caloric imbalance. That is, their caloric processing and absorbortion exceeds their caloric output.
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