From yo-yo dieting to intermittent fasting, we’ve all delved into the weird and wonderful ways of losing weight to achieve that perfect bod. But even the most body-conscious of us felt the pressure during lockdown – gyms were closed, outdoor activity was discouraged, but takeaways were still readily available. (How frustrating was that?)
I’ll admit that in my valiant attempts to live off Lighterlife foodpacks and healthy foods, I’ve had moments of weakness that involve an emotional eating binge whilst watching a torrent of box set episodes, or worse still – a set meal for two and a bottle of wine…for yours truly. The sickening feeling of regret soon hits as I force down another chocolate bar down my throat just so I don’t have to eat it tomorrow. All because I’m starting again tomorrow! Of course, in this utter state of despair, I somehow find myself on social media clicking on the ‘click-bait’ articles of the next super-diet and how a celebrity went from curvy to skinny overnight. In my desperate attempt to find a ‘quick fix’ I convince myself her diet will absolutely work for me.
What’s their secret? Is it a miracle pill that converts fat into abs? Positive thinking? Witchcraft?!
No. In most cases, it’s effort. Sure – your age, metabolism and genetics play their part into how your body processes food. But for 99% of people, we can’t gorge regularly without consequence.
Many sources claim that you can eat what you want and maintain your weight – some even state you can lose it. Sadly, there’s no magical medicine that’s going to let you eat excessively without weight gain. After a little reading, most of these websites still advise you to incorporate fruits, veg and healthy grains and to eat in moderation.
And while this sounds simple enough, it’s not that easy for some of us. Coming from a person whose comfort used to lie in high sugar foods including alcohol – giving up an unhealthy diet isn’t that simple. It’s warm and familiar. However, relying on food and/or drink for comfort is an incredibly harmful coping method.
You may feel you’re stuck in a toxic relationship with junk food. But this shouldn’t discourage you on your weightloss journey. Becoming a healthier version of yourself is a gradual process. I firmly believe that almost anyone has the ability to reach a healthy weight. But for some, it’ll take a month; for others, five years. And it’s not about reaching an ‘end goal’ and going back to our old eating habits. Keeping the weight off is about maintenance.
In response to the question of why can’t I eat what I want and just stay slim (?) consider this: 36% of the UK’s population is overweight. 28% is obese. Think about your eating habits. Do you eat exclusively when you’re hungry? Or do you wander to the fridge out of boredom, seeking a sugary endorphin rush? We all do it. (Unless you’re one of the few lucky ones that happen to naturally moderate their meals and commit to their 5-a-day. Tell me your secret, please.)
If you’re reading this, you were probably fortunate enough to be born in a place where food is in plentiful supply. Our hunter-gatherer days are long since behind us, so we have to discipline ourselves to control our food consumption. It’s okay to have those high-fat, grease-loaded, sugary foods sometimes. They are delicious. But your body is a temple, so take good care of it.