Monday, 30 January 2012

Are People Really That Stupid, Or Is It Just Wishful Thinking?

I love MFP, I really do. I've made some wonderful friends there, and I am the first to admit that without their support, and the accountability that MFP gives me, I'm not sure I'd have shed my excess weight. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't have started running or doing 30DS, were it not for MFP, and I absolutely would not now be thinking about P90x. I should point out that I am only thinking about it at the moment....but it's a start!

But oh my goodness...some of the people on there (who are not my friends, I hasten to add), are barking so misguided! A couple of weeks ago, someone claimed to have been told by their doctor that when you lose weight it's because the fat comes out of your body... in your urine! She attempted to explain the 'science' behind it, and even said it had happened to her. Then you have all the people who swear that if you inject a pregnancy hormone into yourself (or have it in drop form), you only have to eat 500 calories a day, and you'll be super-healthy and slim! And let's not forget everyone who cannot grasp simple physics - that if you have two things which weigh the same as each other, one cannot be heavier! Oh, and while I am on a roll....

The latest one is that since it is 'impossible' to be overweight just by eating vegetables, it is pointless to count the calories for them. And in case you are wondering, peas, beans, potatoes, squashes, sweetcorn, etc. are not vegetables...they're 'just starch'. Apparently. I accept that they are technically legumes and tubers etc. but they are still vegetables, in the same way that lamb, pork, beef, game, fish, and poultry are all meat/flesh.

OK, fine, I can see a certain kind of flawed logic here; salad for example, has negligible calories but in theory, if you could actually consume 2000 cals-worth of salad a day, you'd put on weight (assuming you weren't working out, and were sitting on your bum, reading blogs all day!). Green veggies such as calabrese/broccoli don't have much in the way of calorie content, and it's unlikely that you're ever going to eat enough of them to make a significant difference to your weightloss plan but what are you going to do with all those calories you're not logging? My guess is that you're going to look at your food diary, see you have X-amount of 'spare' calories to play with, so 'treat' yourself to an extra glass of wine, or a serving of ice cream, or a couple of biccies. I know I do would!

For vegetarians, vegans, and people like me, who never eat land- or air-based meat but occasionally do eat fish, our diets are mostly plant-based. Yes, we eat bread, and grains and pulses (also plant-based), and dairy (vegans don't, obviously) but the actual bulk of our food comes from vegetables. If we don't count those calories, what then? As it is, I sometimes struggle to get to 1500 calories a day - if I didn't count my veggies, I'd probably be down by at least 200-300 a day. But only on paper. I'd have still consumed them, so if I then decided to make up the 'deficit' (because remember, I've been told I need not concern myself with them; therefore they have popped out of existence. Poof!) with some ice cream, wine, or whatever, pretty soon I'd be seeing an increase on the tape measure.

How is this not blindingly obvious?

Example - this is what I consumed on Friday...which was far from a fruit & veg-centric day (c = calories, not Celsius!):

Breakfast: Banana - 89c, 250ml milk - 163c
Lunch: 2 slices bread - 136c, 15g peanut butter - 89c
Dinner: Baked potato - 290c, 20g cheese - 82c, 10g butter (5g on the potato, 5g for sautéing with) - 72c, 10g garlic - 15, 100g mushrooms - 22c, 100g cavolo nero - 28c
Snacks: - 0 - I have run out of Nutella....oh, the tragedy!
Quaffs: 3 x gin & slimline tonic
Water: 2.25l (9 glasses)
TOTAL: 1324 calories. 355 of which are from veggies. If you add the banana as well (why not?), that brings the total to 444 cals, a third of my day's intake...leaving me with 880c which I 'can' count. Can you see what's wrong with this way of thinking?

In addition, it's not just about eating vegetables; how often do any of us actually eat a ton of plain, steamed vegetables, or even raw ones? I do sometimes but not every day (although admittedly I am a massive salad fiend, so generally have a variety of salads five times a week or so, sometimes more). Sometimes I use oil (not a lot, granted, but I still use it), sometimes I make sauces, sometimes I add veggies to other dishes as an ingredient, often I make vegetable soups. And let's not forget the aforementioned baked potato, and all its attendant nomminess!

While there is nothing wrong with steamed veggies (and a lot right with them), the plain truth is that we don't always want to eat them that way. Why? Because it gets boring very, very quickly. And what's the fastest way to stray from the path of sensible eating? Yep - boredom.

Besides, where do you draw the line? Do you include fruit? Fish? Lean meat? Sod it, why not just forget your weightloss plan and trough out to your heart's content? After all, isn't this what you really want? I'm sure you can find any kind of justification you like, and then twist any bit of pseudo-science to fit your lifestyle choices. Isn't this why you're making all these lame excuses? To actually eat more food?

If however, you are genuinely serious about losing weight and becoming healthier and fitter, then you'll stop making excuses, and accept that your old habits are what got you here in the first place. The only way to get where you want to be, assuming you truly want to be somewhere else, is to change your old behaviour patterns, and that includes eating and drinking. It especially includes eating and drinking. So until you are 100% confident that you are able to eat and drink without a safety net, the only way you are going to ensure long-term success is by being aware of everything you put into your mouth (stop it, I didn't mean *that*!).

No excuses, no whining, no lame justifications... just do it.


Hannah said...

I love your blogs! You say what most are feeling. Thanks! :0)

Eating less + healthy diet= Lose weight + happy me!

H x

Nicole Rossetti le Strange said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence, Hannah - I really appreciate it!

Good luck with your weightloss journey - how is it coming along?

Crack You Whip said...

Thank you for your inspiration. I have lost a good bit of weight, but back in my old habits and the weight is creeping back. No excuses! Great post!

Nicole Rossetti le Strange said...

You're welcome Tracie....and thank you for taking the time to comment, and for the compliment.

Congratulations on your've done it before, so there is no reason why you can't do it again, and maintain it. You just have to believe it can happen!

Do keep in touch, and let me know how you're getting on. In the meantime, I'm going to go and read *your* blog! :-)

N xx