Thursday, January 15, 2015

Myth: You can't just eat whatever you like and still expect to be in shape.

Oh, you were fooled into believing this one?

I put it to you that not only CAN you get into shape eating the foods that you like, that's exactly how everyone who ever DID get into shape and STAY that way has done it.

Think about it. Maybe they aren't eating the foods YOU like, but they're definitely eating foods that THEY like. But doesn't that mean that you have to eat the foods that they like, because those are the foods to eat to get into shape, the ones that you don't like and they do?

Nope.

You can't expect results via forcefeeding yourself things you don't like, because you're not going to stick with it. You're going to lose your appetite half way through your first "healthy" meal, throw half of it away, probably skip your next meal because you're so unenthusiastic about that one too, end up ravenous hours later and going to town on exactly the same foods you were convinced you needed to "give up because they're bad" or whatever. And then how do you feel? Not real good.

Imagine three lists of foods.
  • List A: the most unquestionably healthy, wholesome and nutritious choices. If you stuck to only these foods and just ate them until you were satisfied, you probably wouldn't go too far wrong in terms of total energy intake and you'd have an abundance of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff too.
  • List B: more normal sort of food choices. Not full blown health nut level of virtuous "clean eating", but a reasonable variety of reasonably healthy choices.
  • List C: the "now you're just taking the piss, you can't possibly be serious" list.
List A sounds great, right? Here are all the best foods, eat 'em until you are nicely satisfied, and you'll probably be meeting your requirements quite effortlessly. Which is fine, if you happen to like and be enthusiastic about eating those foods. If you're not enthusiastic, it's like I described earlier; you just end up going hungry until you can't anymore.

I feel like it is not so prevalent lately and hopefully will be even less so as this year continues, but in the past there has been this ideal out there that a certain type of person is better than other people, and that's why they look so good and are in good shape. Being an extra active, outdoorsy type who only eat from that A List of most nutritious foods.

Now nothing against those people, don't get me wrong. They're out there living their lives, doing the things they're enthusiastic about, and more power to them for it. But they're not better than someone who'd rather curl up with a good book under a blanket, for example. They're in shape because they have an active lifestyle, and an appropriate energy intake... not because they're better, more virtuous people than someone who's more of an indoorsy person with less exemplary food choices.

That's important to point out, because along with that ideal came this kind of warped notion that people are in shape because of the some "moral" association with those food choices. And then, depending on who you are unfortunate enough to be influenced by, that "List A" becomes shorter and shorter, and god forbid you ever slip up and have something from "List B" instead. A while back in certain circles it was to the extent that you basically had a very, very short "List A" and then everything else that exists is "List C".

"Fruit? You gotta be taking the piss. What about the sugar?"
That sort of thing. It got beyond ridiculous. If you've followed my blogs for a while you'll know already, I considered it the active promotion of orthorexia nervosa and I declared war on it a few years back.

Let's move on though and look at List C, and while it is already the "you must be taking the piss" list, let's really take the piss and say not only is it OK to include some of these foods from time to time, we're going to ONLY eat these foods.

Could it be done? If you set out to prove a point that total energy intake is what matters in maintaining a suitable weight range, and that regardless of food choices health markers will be improved as weight becomes less excessive, could you do it?

Well, a couple of people already have.

Now, not that I am saying for a minute that this is the recommended course of action, but my point stands. You most certainly can lose weight via a plan to meet appropriate total intake from what ever choices of foods best suit you, and while we're at it let's mention whatever meal schedule best suits you, as well.

If you're able to mostly eat from whatever you feel would come under List A, that's awesome. If you have a plan to meet your requirements from List B; that is just as effective, you will not ruin your health, and you will still deserve success just as much as any one else as well. Even if you include some from List C, within a plan for appropriate intake to meet your requirements you will still deserve success and be successful.


Of course, if you would like a little help with your plan that's where I come in, and you can register for more information right here (top right of the page) or at www.flexiblefueling.com.