Strategies for Weight Loss
A balanced diet and normalized eating patterns that you can maintain for a lifetime are the keys to weight control. I cannot emphasize this point enough. But what does a balanced diet actually look like these days? And what is a normalized eating pattern? Herein lie the secrets. I’m going to try hard not to throw rules at you. People who are of normal weight and good health don’t usually follow rules. They just eat. And they just exercise. Without over-thinking it. The dietary patterns of cultures who have had far fewer problems with obesity follow long-held traditions that worked way before nutrition theory made it’s appearance in America.
There is a wonderful little book titled “The Philosopher’s Diet” by Richard Watson. It was originally published in 1985. Watson is actually a professional philosopher with a quirky sense of humor. And no nutritional training. Though he advocates much of the wrong-headed nutritional advice of the time in which he wrote, he also makes some insightful observations that were not necessarily popular back then nor mentioned in any of the diet books you may have read.
Here are a few of Watson’s gems:
“…eat less. But that alone is not enough, for you also have to learn how to eat differently from the way you are eating now…”
“Food fad diets lead neither to health nor permanent weight loss.”
“Slow (weight) loss is better for you, anyway.”
“Get off most processed foods…The change to fresh foods will wean you off your old eating habits, and before long…you will find that your new diet really does satisfy your reformed appetite.”
“How can civilized human beings eat Wonder Bread? You and I were raised on it. We spread margarine and artificial grape jelly on it and smeared our faces. We didn’t know any better.”
“Food habits are indeed strong, but they can be changed.”
“It is hard to turn down desserts but people do and you can…You can also learn how to nurse a drink.”
“Even Julia Child used a Cuisinart, but I firmly advise you not to get one. First there is the joy of chopping with a knife by hand, and second, chopping burns off calories.”
Watson, in trying to lose some weight, swore off foods containing sugar. Up to that point, he had a penchant for jellybeans and other cheap penny candy. Without realizing it, he could empty an entire bag of those buggers and never notice. He stopped eating them, cold turkey. Watson claims that in giving up processed and sugary foods, he had forever altered his tastes. And the few times he attempted to binge on the candy after his tastes had changed, he was sorely disappointed. “This candy is now too sweet. It also has a metallic or chemical taste. Those dyes, those artificial flavors – something has ruined the cheap candy of my childhood.” Watson suggests, “instead of junk food binges, look for the best restaurant anywhere within a radius of 100 miles (which might raise hoots of laughter if you live in rural Iowa) and pig out on the best food within reach.”
Lose weight slowly. Learn to eat in a way that supports normal weight and good health – eat fresh whole foods and back off processed, packaged and sugary foods. Once you have given up processed foods, your tastes will change and going back to eating them will be unconscionable. Buy the highest quality food you can afford. Make food procurement, food preparation, food presentation, and the act of eating all part of your food experience.
And if all else fails, treat yourself to the best restaurant experience around. See what fine food is all about and emulate the experience at home. You’re worth more than a bag of jellybeans.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are my researched opinions and are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to replace sound medical advice from a board certified physician.
© 2016 L-K Associates, LLC