Diet Harder – The Top 7 main reasons why you’re not losing weight & understanding the key issues in tackling weight loss…
As part of a tribute to those who have inspired me to change my own body shape over the years, I am bringing you a series of posts based on my own knowledge and experience on the subject
They cover the tips and techniques that I have adopted in making that change in my own life and may help you make that change in yours too.
The first series will concentrate on food since this is 85% of the issue. I will come back to resistance training at another point in time, perhaps when I’m more knowledgeable in the subject.
So I’ve broken down this food series into five separate articles,
- The Simple Science to weight loss
- The reasons why you’re not losing weight and understanding the key issues in tackling weight loss
- The basics of today’s most popular meal plans
- How to create your own diet mission statement and develop a tailored meal plan that’s right for you
- My own personal experience, tips and views on weight loss..
Each is themed by a different Die Hard movie. As you may have guessed, I’ve appropriately named the entire series
Some of it is informative
Some of it is entertaining
Some of it is motivating
I hope the majority of it is reassuring and may just help a few of you (or people you know) with your personal struggles with becoming healthier version of yourselves.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy,
Here is part 2 below.
So if it is this simple why isn’t everyone in good shape then?
So if you are reading this, you will notice this is where I left the first post , giving me the perfect opportunity to springboard into this one. Please note most of this one is insight and background into it, feel free to skip to my third post for more helpful tips
The simple answer I feel is this.
You don’t fucking care
I know alot of people are going to read this and think this is harsh. I’m just as guilty of this as everyone else is (We all don’t fucking care). I’ll also rephrase it a little.
We all don’t fucking care enough (especially YOU)
It does play on the mind of a lot of people, but like most things these days, we tend to spend more time complaining about issues than actually tying to resolve them.
Most people when consulted are not truthful about their daily food intake. They snack, they pig out, they drink and we as a habit end up eating far more than they think. There are also alot of addictive traits in our foods, which make us more likely to consume more without even noticing it.
In some cases, we just flat out tell blatant lies to ourselves that are so big and so alien, that somewhere down the line, we actually start believing . We fool other people into believing them as well. Anything to just avoid that simple truth staring back at us every single day. Denial is a cruel bitch
We still have myths and old wives’ tales being perpetuated in mainstream society that get taken as gospel. We all should do a bit more fact finding when it comes to our own health and debunk these tales that get us nowhere.
That’s not to say you should believe everything I say.
Infact, if the only thing I manage, is for you to question something, and you research it for yourself, then my work is done. Finding out information first hand is a powerful weapon in your war against the bulge.
You don’t fucking care about calories
This point comes down to the indifference most people have towards the calorie.
Most of us are oblivious to how many calories we burn in a day because we do not monitor it.
Most of us are also oblivious to how many calories we consume in a day because we do not monitor it.
These are probably the two most significant pieces of information required for weight control and manipulation.
Without them, we’re doomed to mediocrity
This is exactly the same dilemma as a person who’s spiralled into some debt. Without the ability to monitor both wages coming in and spending going out, it is virtually impossible to get them back in to the black.
So why do we accept this logic when it comes to finances but choose to ignore it when it comes to diet?
Calories are also way down on the list of things we consider when we purchase food . I would say our priority when shopping goes something like this
- Hunger levels
- Allergen intolerance if any
- Will this make my bum fat
- Preparation time
- Sex (some sick puppy is thinking about it in the whipped cream section)
- Some calorie bullshit
If it’s never going to be a priority, then neither is your weight loss.
Cheap quick food is also calorie dense, so something relatively small actually packs quite a wallop. A lot of people blame fat content for this, but fat itself is not the issue. The problem is we overconsume it, sending us into a calorific surplus. If we took a greater ownership of how many calories we were consuming, we would spot this in a heart beat and regulate it accordingly.
For years I was adamant to not count calories and I’ve only started within the last few months and it makes everything SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier, it’s unreal. Trust me on this
Your friends and family don’t fucking care
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that they won’t notice, or even talk about it, but they’ll make sure you are completely unaware it’s being done. They just don’t care enough to comment honestly when asked about it.
Same goes for your neighbours, work colleagues etc. Yeah, this one is a real kick in the gut, especially with the ladies. Because you see each other as competition at the best of times, you’ll keep each other in the lurch about how you look.
The world has become a place where any critique is considered negative and all consulted observations are considered controversial.
That’s not to say one’s body is the be all and end all but you’d hope if you were having an honest conversation about weight and you asked for an opinion, people could be honest with you and vice versa.
Unfortunately, your immediate feelings are taken into consideration and most individuals prefer to take the easy route and just lie.
We are also acclimatised to seeing larger individuals and it is now socially acceptable to be ‘big and beautiful’. While this is fine, it puts family and friends in a moral dilemma if they wish to voice any genuine concern for your health.
Then you get the feeders
They usually show their affection through inviting you round for dinner, to try out some new recipes. The friendly chefs with the extra large portions of food and two bottles of wine ready to be consumed. The ones that make you feel bad for not having the dessert they’ve spent all day making.
They could care less about whether or not you are on a diet and so keep forcing food upon you, because it makes them feel better.
These group of people will also be the first ones to kill your weight loss momentum with comments like
- I think you are getting too skinny
- I hardly recognise you
- Counting calories isn’t natural
- You’re turning wild
- You’re getting anorexic
- Where’s this attitude of yours come from
- I preferred you before
- You’ve changed, I’m not sure i like it
- Just enjoy your self now, you can get back to it another time.
- You might have a problem with your eating
- Don’t let it go to waste
So in short, they won’t notify you if there is an issue but they will halt any progress you start making.
Just a note, your loved ones ‘can’ be a key reason why you haven’t made that change you’ve wanted to for some time.
Your partner doesn’t fucking care
This is a strange but interesting phenomenon.
When we enter a relationship, we end up putting on weight based on comfort. We also stop going out and start hibernating in, with social activities revolving around takeaway, the TV and some wine.
This is one of the biggest reasons for weight gain in western society. This happens to and is tolerated by both parties.
Love fat I think is the term for it
Getting a partner fat is like notifying people they are off the market, especially if they were in really good shape before hand. I’ve seen it soo many times with my married friends.
Now if your partner asks you whether they need to lose weight, most will answer no. Not because of the backlash but it means they’ll have to lose weight as well.
This is because the relative level of attraction between them will fall out of balance and this could throw the entire relationship into jeopardy.
More often then not, fitness is associated with increased social levels and increased self worth. One partner getting fit while the other remains the same is a BIG SHINING BEACON they will eventually want different things.
So for the sake of self preservation, most people will keep the other party heavier than they need to be and relinquish the need to workout themselves. Win/Win
It’s really a safety net in keeping your partner, you take them out of their prime to increase your chances of keeping them. It’s the equivalent of crashing your Ferrari so others are less likely to steal it.
So yeah, never trust your partner’s response to this, while they may love you and it may be in the best interest of your relationship, it may not be in the best interest of your self esteem or health goals.
The Government doesn’t fucking care
While the government does it best to try and keep everyone in check, it really doesn’t help us out as individuals.
We are only given a basic statement, the recommended daily calorific intake for everyone is
2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men.
You should know by now it’s not that simple. That’s like saying everyone needs size 8 shoes. It’s down right stupid.
Blanket statements by government bodies can do more harm than good and may keep people from reaching their weight goals, simply because they believe they are eating the right number of calories per day, when actually they should be eating less or focusing on their macronutrient ratios.
This is the reason why you often hear statement like this
I eat 2000 calories a day, I do sports regularly and I eat healthy like they say I should.
I don’t understand why I’m still fat
In an ideal world, governments should be actively encouraging people to find out their own calorie intake requirements. I know taking control and being empowered by this knowledge was my first step in discovering my true relationship with food.
The Corporations don’t fucking care
Unfortunately people struggling with their weight and feeling bad for themselves makes society money
For instance, people overeat because they are feeling bad about their weight, then they eat to feel better and the cycle continues while the issue escalates…
But who cares cause they are spending right??? The answer is in clear sight from an economist’s point of view
Big Market Consumers are Big Market Consumers
Just look at all the things the fitness industry makes money off you from.
- Crash Diet fads
- New year’s gym memberships
- Fat camp for kids
- Celebrity Fitness DVDs
- Exercise equipment like this one
- Diet drinks
- Healthy labelled and fat free foods
- Personal trainers
- Boot camps
- Zumba classes
- The Supplementation racket
- The Biggest loser
- Alternative treatments
- Sexy exercise gear
- Running clubs
- Cosmetic surgery
- Home gyms
the whole fucking works
The industry is worth over £4 billion pounds in the UK alone and with an ever growing level of weight related issues, it’s only going to get bigger.
But look at this 50 year old homeless guy here,
If he can get in shape, with no house, no job and no money and importantly none of these products, Why can’t you?
Ultimately it comes down to …
Ignorance is profit
The less you know, the more you spend and the less you change.
Another point is the overweight issue only costs the UK government approximately £4 Billion a year and is on the rise.
So while the taxpayer is getting increasingly shafted on this spending, the health economy appears kinda balanced.
Money in (£4B) = Money out (£4B)
And just like my food calorie model states, if there is no net change, the attitudes are not going to change either.
This doesn’t even take into account the increased spending with increased food consumption and the current high price in food This may actually benefit the economy in the relative short term.
N0 joke, weight related issues I believe could be eradicated in 10 years. However, the economy drives pretty much every socio-economic decision made for us and until it starts fiddling with the balance sheets, it’s here to stay.
Even Your own body doesn’t fucking care
Your body is not designed to be aesthetic, it’s designed to keep your ass alive.
The only thing your body cares about is self preservation and doing this with as little energy expended as possible.
If all you did was store more food and do less work, you’d be psychologically rewarded for that.
This is why calorie dense foods taste better, because our senses haven’t evolved at the same rate as modern society. Your body still thinks it’s a wild animal in a jungle,unclear when it will next feast, so it rewards you for overconsumption. It doesn’t realise you’ll be in mcdonalds again in 2 hours, ordering the same thing again.
What’s worse your body does everything it can to hold onto that fat, it is the original hoarder.
Also when we were younger, we had almost twice as many tastebuds as we do as grown adults. As we grow, we over flavour our food in order to compensate for this and we do this the cheap way too.
The stronger our food tastes, the more calories are generally included in them, which again leads to over consumption just to satisfy this short term body fix.
The tongue is an evil organ and it will betray you at every opportunity (well, apart from one 😮 ).
If no one else cares, why the fuck should I?
Most people will give you some spiel about living a healthy lifestyle to get the best out of life
That is Bullshit
Lead the life you want to lead, especially if you have private healthcare. I’m not here to lecture anyone on a healthy way of life, just to show you things in another light if you so choose to make a change.
Morbid Obesity, just like racism and porn addiction, is a man made condition
(and like Ash from pokemon, I’ve caught them all).
However, if you do choose to care, don’t be one of these drones that gets easily led to nowhere. If you are serious about changing the way you look, seize control, and decide on a path that suits you.
As I’ll get on to in the next entry, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Alright, I’m gonna to take control, so how do I tackle weight loss?
When it comes to tackling weight loss, there are two sides to the coin.
There is the dealing with the practical issues of obtaining weight loss -Typically things like
- Resistance training
- Nutrition control and manipulation
- Meal Size and Timing
- Food limitation and intolerance
- Genetics and Body makeup
- Work, family and extra-curricular activities
- Dealing with social situations(alcohol and meals with friends and family/holidays)
Then there is the dealing with the psychological issues around your relationship with food/drink and your weight – Typically things like
- Your relationship with food
- Creating new habits
- Lack of time due to family/work commitments
- Cognitive Dissonance
- Dealing with loss
- Body Image
- No Discipline
- Management of your Expectations
- A form of self harm/self loathing
- Dependency/ Addiction
- Feeling Isolated or losing purpose in life
- Past abusive relationships
- Eating habit
- Lying to yourself about your weight/size/how it makes you feel
- Cognitive Dissonance.
So while all these issues are important, this series will only deal with Nutrition control and manipulation with regards to the practical issues. I believe this is the cornerstone of most practical issues. Once you have complete ownership over it, 99% of the rest will fall into place.
As stated before I will deal with resistance training in another series and I’ll talk about the psychological issues later in this post.
Why is nutrition control so important, why not just exercise?
A lot of people are probably wondering how I can truly talk about weight loss without recommending exercise anywhere.
Well this is because 85% of any weight loss comes down to nutrition.
As highlighted by Manuel Uribe in my first post, you don’t need to exercise in order to lose weight.
I mean you will need some exercise for other health benefits but in this day and age, where most people just want to look lean and toned for aesthetic purposes, exercise is still generally over prescribed.
It’s funny, most fitness adverts try to sell you all these dvds, gizmos and home gym equipment, then they show the before and after pictures of past clients with the disclaimer in super tiny writing
*Results are based on individuals following a structured meal plan*
It’s funny though, when it comes to the sales pitch, they’ll spend 29 1/2 minutes talking about a new exercise gadget and no more than 20 seconds on the meal plan when it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BEING SOLD.
So just to highlight the importance of nutrition, exercise is getting put on a back burner.
What about the psychological issues?
The practical issues are normally manifestations of the deep rooted psychological issues. If we were to use a medical analogy, the practical issues would be the symptoms of duress (knife in the head), while the psychological issues would be the cause (knife wielding crazy ex).
Unfortunately, I am not equipped in this medium to help you overcome any of the psychological issues you may have. Everyone’s is unique and needs to be tackled honestly with the proper council, support and guidance.
If you have attempted dieting beforehand in a somewhat structured manner but it’s ‘never worked’ , this series will help but won’t be as effective.
Most likely, there will be some underlying psychological issue holding you back.
Don’t get me wrong, applying my suggestions under controlled conditions will provide results. However if there are lingering unresolved issues, you are likely to regain the weight.
I would recommend tackling this, at least in conjunction, if not prior to any attempts at weight loss.
We are creatures of habit and if we fail at something, it’s very hard for us to try it again with the correct mentality. Negative reinforcement is a very powerful thing, so you might as well try to get it right at the earliest attempt.
If this is you, just be honest with yourself that you may have some psychological factors you need to attend to.
That is the true first step to achieving anything.
What to do next
If on the other hand you don’t really have anything holding you back and you are a few of the following
- Going through an overweight phase stage
- Just fancy getting into a better shape
- Your weight yo-yos and you want more stability and control
- Have never tried a long term structured meal plan
- Are tired of crash diets that put the weight back on
- Are miffed because you are doing all the right things and still haven’t lost weight
- Have never tracked your calories
- Have never calculated your daily calorie requirement
- Have never tracked or calculated your macronutrient requirements
- Have never found anything that tailors to you
- Looking to get your pre pregnancy shape back
- You have some medical conditions that limit the amount of physical activity you can take part in
- Have plateaued and can never seem to get more weight off
- Want to have greater control over your appearance
- Fancy a new you
- Want to age gracefully
- Looking to take your body to that next level
And you are also
- An upbeat optimistic person,
- Someone who is driven,
- Open to new ideas
- Happy to try things out
then I would recommend designing a meal plan that’s tailored to you and trying it out for yourself.
Once you find something that sounds like it fits, give it 4 weeks and see where it takes you. If you like it, carry on for another 12 or until you reach your fitness goals. If you haven’t seen results by then, try out another combination till something feels right.
What is a meal plan?
Ha, its funny, I’ve been mentioning them but I’ve yet to bring them up in conversation.
This would be the best time to take a break, I’ll cover it in my next post here.
Please let me know what you think and remember
who the fuck is mr falcon?