Judging by the current levels of obesity in the Western world, we could conclude that it’s quite an issue. This has spawn countless of diet fads, countless supplementation companies, and all in all, has spawned a multitude of companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups etc.
Their common denominator is that they make a living by selling products to people who think they need these products to lose weight.
Well, the truth is, the current internet blogosphere on nutrition, healthy eating, and losing weight provides you with all the information you need to meet your goals in terms of weight loss.
While I believe the mental health and social environment perspective are often neglected – two sides that can dramatically increase the success rate of weight loss attempts people make, the fact still holds true – every piece of information someone needs to lose weight has already been written.
That is a fact.
However, the question arises – if everything has already been written, why are so many dieting attempts still failing? Why are so many people still fat?
The second question has an easy answer I guess; not everyone has access to this knowledge.
But truth be told, a lot of people who have access don’t know how to find the current leading bloggers on these topics. There are obviously a lot of other factors here, but I’ll leave it at that, I don’t want to stray too far away from the main topic.
And to answer the first question – a lot of dieting attempts fail because of one main thing I can think of:
The mindset when one attempts a ‘diet’. The general notion for the majority of people who attempt dieting is: “Ok, I want to lose weight, now I have to cut my caloric intake to 1765,4 calories, I need to eat 123,1 grams of protein, 180,3 grams of carbs, and 55,2 grams of unsaturated fats”.
This may be quite effective and work in the short run. But let’s be honest here. Almost no one has the needed motivation to undertake such a weight loss attempt for a longer time period.
This leads the majority of people to “fall of the wagon” as is commonly said.
I even find this phrase funny in itself. It shows you the mentality of people when they are trying to eat healthy.
What? You are riding along on the wagon of healthy food until you lose the weight you wanted. After that you jump away or fall from it and jump on the wagon of fried chicken nuggets, McDonald’s, and Mountain Dew? Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous?
Again, this is a short simplification. There are obviously a lot of others factors at work. Factors, that can be hardly summarized in a 900 word article.
TLDR: START HERE.
And this hilariously long introduction has brought me to the two main points and actual title of the article:
1. Eat (healthy) food you like
This sounds stupidly easy doesn’t it? Researchers in one study noted that people had a decreased want to eat more food when they were presented with, and had to eat, food they liked, as opposed to eating something they had no preference for. And mind you, both meals had the same amount of calories.
So this basically means that when they were eating food they liked and were finished with it, they had less desire to eat any further, when this was compared to the situation where they were eating something they had no preference for.
This means that by eating (healthy!) food you actually enjoy and like, you would in return eat less and feel less cravings afterwards.
2. Be more aware of your emotions
This one may not hold true for everyone who is reading this. However, it is a very important point to make.
Emotional eating – the act of eating to satisfy different physiological urges that are not hunger itself.
People who are emotional eaters eat to relieve stress or they eat when they are experiencing feelings of sadness. This has an interesting evolutionary explanation but the article would get too long if I started writing about it here (the short version: you crave carbs when you are sad to increase happiness).
So why is emotional awareness important?
Emotional eating often leads to binges which can stack up hilariously huge amounts of calories. And researchers again found that people were less likely to engage in emotional eating if they were more aware of their own emotions and the triggers that lead them to the unwanted eating binges.
So simply by being more aware of your own emotions (and with that the triggers) you could cut the amount of food you eat. Or just cut the number of binges that can occur during such episodes, and through that cut your total caloric intake.
Those were two evidence-based tips that can have an impact on one’s success to lose weight in the long run.
Obviously, these should be considered as a supplementation strategy to eating healthy food (lots of multi-colored vegetables, meats, fruits, healthy fats, and nuts) – in that order.
And without the processed crap.