Go Kaleo’s Amber Rogers on her Facebook page:
The reason I struggled unsuccessfully with my weight for 25 years was because I was struggling with my weight.
My weight wasn’t the problem. My weight was a symptom of the problem.
The problem was my habits. I treated myself poorly. My internal dialogue was abusive and unkind. When I exercised I did it to punish myself, and when I dieted I allowed myself an inhumanely small amount of food. These are not behaviors and habits that will produce a healthy body. These behaviors tear a person down, reduce self esteem, trigger binge eating, make exercise unpleasant, reduce a human to nothing more than a collection of body parts that are treated with contempt. And I did it to myself. And I bet many of you reading this do it to yourself.
The Obesity Society, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology have recently release their 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults (free full text available here). Dr. Arya Sharma has had a look and offers that the report is “big on how little we know” (emphasis mine):
[The report shows the] rather poor level of evidence that exists for virtually all of the dietary recommendations. …
Thus, low fat approaches appear no better than high-fat (strength of evidence: “moderate”), while the evidence in support of low-calorie diets, complex vs. simple carbs, glycemic load, Mediterranean-style diets, lower-fat lacto-ovo-vegetarian or vegan-style, or lower fat high dairy/calcium with added fiber and/or low glycemic index/load foods, use of liquid and bar meal replacements, or even very low calorie approaches is largely “insufficient” to make any reasonable recommendations in favour of any of these strategies versus any other.
Not that people do not lose on any or all of these diets as long as they are “energy restricted” – of course they do!
But, what is lacking is evidence that any of these countless dietary approaches confer any meaningful advantage (in terms of amount of weight lost, metabolic benefits or sustainabilty of weight loss) compared to any other.
So, whilst millions of “bestseller” diet books may continue to make millions for their authors and publishers by touting one revolutionary weight loss solution after another, they are essentially closer to religious belief systems than scientific fact. …
Perhaps, what we need to accept, is that there simply is no “superior” dietary approach to managing your weight – it’s whatever works best for you.
I suspect that the real trick is for susceptible folks to figure out a way to exist in an environment that strongly promotes obesity. Eliminating fat or carbs or meat may not be sufficient. And for some, it may not be worth perpetually tilting at windmills.
Motivation coach Jon Gordon was on yesterday’s Today Show, talking about the best advice he’s ever heard. It came from Dr. James Gills, a man who (among many other things) completed 46 marathons and six double triathlons.
When asked how he accomplished this, Gills answered:
I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself.
If I listen to myself I hear all the reasons why I should give up. I hear that I’m too tired-too old-too weak to make it. But if I talk to myself I can give myself the encouragement and words I need to hear to keep running and finish the race.
Michelle Allison, the Fat Nutritionist, dislikes the term “real food” and writes today that “all foods, like all women, are real.” She explains (emphasis hers):
No, this does not mean that all foods are nutritionally equivalent, or that all foods are good for all people in all situations, but it does mean that choices around food must be individual, that all food choices can be valid, depending on the person and the circumstances, and that universal pronouncements on a food’s relative realness are not helpful or, well…real.
“Real food” is not a real thing. Because what constitutes food is too many things.
I’m as guilty as the next “real foodie” of thinking that there is a meaningful difference between a tomato and a Twinkie, but it’s probably worth keeping in mind that at the end of the day (no matter how long it will live on your shelf), a Twinkie is actually food and not everyone wants, needs, or can afford to eat like a caveman or like Michael Pollan.