The 'Never Diet Again' diet plan
Dieting and weight loss in America is a business, a BIG business. Like any business, they want and need new customers and returning customers. They want you to diet, but they don’t necessarily want you to lose weight. There is a difference. Additionally, they will quietly lobby, against efforts to help people lose weight. Just like the tobacco industry lobbied against rules that reduced sales of their products.
This big business, which I affectionately call the weight loss industry profiteers (WLIP), wants to sell you cookbooks, special diets (5 day diet, 10 day diet, 5 pound diet, grapefruit diet, raspberry diet, water diet, air diet, all the fat you want diet, etc.) exercise equipment, exercise videos, magazines, drugs and perhaps most important, diet foods and drinks.
The WLIP is a $20,000,000,000 a year industry and it is predicated on you being overweight and wanting to be thin. The ‘wanting to be thin’ part is manufactured by the advertising and marketing companies that create a public image and attitude about weight that is elitist and almost impossible for most to achieve, however, it generates an abundance of much needed guilt, that further increases the profits of the WLIP.
In this series of articles, I am going to introduce you to all the basic ideas needed to successfully lose weight. In many cases, the ideas will not be things you’ve heard about before, mainly because, the weight loss industry doesn’t stand to profit from you knowing these things.
Will this knowledge make you lose weight? Nope; however, it will help you lose weight and keep it off. Perhaps it will also save you some cash and, I hope, feel better about yourself as you reduce your weight. I wish I could say I have a silver bullet, but it I did, then I would be part of the WLIP. Weight loss is a hugely complex problem as indicated by the fact that obesity is now considered a disease. Additionally, more and more research is piling-up that suggest that food may produce that same chemical response as heroin or nicotine, which means, losing weight may be as difficult as stopping smoking.
Fact 1: Growth and Maintenance
This may sound overly technical but its not, so stick with me. If you consider all the different foods we eat, the variety is mind boggling. However, from our body’s perspective it’s all just biochemistry. Four groups of biomolecules: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids; that’s it. Vitamins and mineral are important, but they aren’t food to our bodies, they are things that help us use our food.
No matter what you eat, your body will break it down into these items. The vast majority of what you eat is a mixture. Only foods like olive oil or Kyro syrup contain only one nutrient group.
The foods you eat serve two basic functions and as you think about your new diet, you need to be aware of both:
- Growth: some of the food you eat goes to making you. From the time you were a fetus until you stopped growing as an adult, the nutrient molecules you consumed were rebuilt and combined with minerals to form bones, muscles, hair, skin, internal organs, etc. Don’t think of your body in terms of organs, you should think of it in terms of 4 biochemical families of molecules. Think of it like this, why don’t people run around in lion country without guns? Answer: because to a lion humans are just as tasty as a zebra and we are much easier to catch. In other words, we’re food.
- Maintenance: along the way to adulthood and certainly after becoming an adult, the body changed from growth to maintenance. Now the foods you eat aren’t so much used to grow your body as to maintain your body. This is the main reason your eating habits have to change when you exit adolescence. It takes much more food to grow than to maintain.
Now you see way nutritionists are so worried about children that are overweight. If their eating habits are such that they are overweight when their bodies are naturally burning more calories, what will happen as their caloric needs go down in adulthood, but their eating habits remain the same. Clearly this is a disaster.
In the next article, I will take a closer look at calories. Those little numbers are everywhere, but what do they really represent. Are they all the same? Are calories from protein better than calories from carbohydrates? Find out tomorrow.