Losing fat should be a simple matter. All we need to do is eat a little less and move a little more, right? Right! But somehow the doing of it is a much harder thing than it ought to be. In this article we're going to look at why it can be so hard and what we can do to make the whole thing easier on ourselves.
You only have to read a newspaper or watch TV to know that eating disorders are a problem in our society. Often, what seems to happen is that a teenager who was maybe just a little overweight, or maybe not overweight at all but not as slim as he or she wanted to be, goes on a diet. It works fine, but instead of losing just a little weight, they become obsessed with the idea of eating as little as possible, and anorexia is the result. Or they find that they cannot control their cravings and they launch into a cycle of binging, dieting and perhaps purging by vomiting their food.
Of course, that is a very simplistic view. The causes of eating disorders can be much more complex than that. But this is a very real problem and in some way, can affect almost everybody who tries to lose weight. A simple thing like losing fat can bring a whole heap of problems down on our heads.
It seems that as soon as we try to restrict what we eat, food takes on way more significance than it deserves. Most normal weight people don't think so much about what they will eat. They know what is healthy and what they enjoy. Within those definitions they will have pretty much whatever they want, when they want it.
They can do this because what they want is mostly healthy food, and they do not want to eat when they are not hungry. They do not obsess over food.
But what happens when we realize that we have become overweight and losing fat would be a good move? In most cases, we start to cut back way too much. We want to lose that fat fast. So we are constantly a little bit hungry, constantly thinking about food, and in danger of breaking out into a binge.
So what is the answer? The best plan is to choose a way of losing fat that leaves you plenty of freedom to choose what you want to eat, and allow your body to take as much time as it needs so that losing fat will be a permanent change, not the beginning of an obsessive cycle. Counting calories or points sounds great, but it requires such careful record keeping that it might just lead us into that obsessive state of mind.
For most people, it is better to look for a plan that allows you to eat unlimited quantities of many foods without having to count anything at all. These foods might include vegetables, fruit and whole grains; or if you prefer to go for a low carb diet, you will probably be allowed unlimited meat and fish.
Whichever way you go, you can have plenty to eat, so that you are not constantly watching the clock and thinking about your next meal. Losing fat should not mean losing your lifestyle – or losing your mind.