Thoughts and Ideas
29th July 2020
You can lockdown the body but the mind is always free...
If I were a goat... An ex-dieter's view on life now...
Why do some people get fat when others stay thin? What do we "value" and how do we think about the "gifts" we are given? When does a gift become a curse?
In the wild the ability to make the most out of food would be an asset. The thing is we have removed ourselves from the wild and we have created sedentary lives which do not suit the way we were "created".
In a survival situation the person who needs little to eat and can do the most with it would live! So, if you put on weight easily your body is designed to survive the "fallow years". I've seen it with goats, some breeds put on weight with minimal food, some have to eat and eat. Strangely enough the Nubian crosses which in a desert situation with little food does seem to be rather a design flaw!
So, you who put on weight easily don't need to eat as much or as often so you can focus on other things in life... now wouldn't it be wonderful if that was true! Sadly it isn't. Food is fun. Food is comfort. Food is social... so, how do you get around that?
I played the numbers game. You have "X" calories a day to "break even". It is a bit like a balance sheet. Go over and the account stores it, go under and you have to call on the reserve.
Why do you eat more than you "need"?
- Because it tastes good.
- Because you are bored.
- Because you want to socialise.
- Because you are upset.
- Because you have a craving and you associate it with food.
- Because you see an advert.
- Because you see a cookery show and it makes you hungry!
So, is it that you are eating more or that you are eating the "wrong things". There is no such thing as a "wrong thing". There is a wrong thing for what you are doing. Those who need to build up for endurance or maintain a certain frame have to eat a scary amount of calories. If you don't well sadly you have to limit the numbers but you can cheat a bit by "swapping out" certain foods.
- Grill instead of fry
- Vegetable Snacks instead of Chocolate
They are "little wins".
I found one way of cutting down on chocolate was to enjoy the chocolate I eat a lot more.
If you take a tiny bite, roll it around your tongue, keep it in your mouth and then you have that lovely flavour you love so much. Then when that piece is gone, take another tiny bite. You can even leave it until the taste has faded a little and then there is the luxurious next bite to look forward to.
Not having the heavy calorie snacks in the house is a good idea. If you want one then you'll have to walk to the shop to get it! We are hunter, gatherers after all. If you put that food out of reach and make it harder to attain you'll start thinking whether you actually want it at all.
In a world of socially isolating it is so easy to shut yourself away from the world and just see others on Zoom etc. So, why not get out in the fresh air, take your mask with you, wear it in the shop and buy your bar of chocolate. Of course remembering to wipe it with a disinfectant cloth and wear gloves when picking it up.
So you have your treasure. It is important, it is a treat. So, take it home and then enjoy it later. You'll have all the anticipation of enjoying it too and the satisfaction of knowing that you had a lovely walk in the fresh air. Or cycle if you have a bicycle but don't choose the nearest supply, pick somewhere that has a lovely route to get there. If you really want to be pedantic, check the calories of what you are going to buy and offset it against the distance you are going to cycle or walk to get it and the energy you will use. If it balances out you have calorie free pleasure.
If you do have a problem with hunger and not feeling "full" then a trick I used to use was gelatine. I'd use a low sugar fruit drink (or zero sugar "pop" and gelatine to make a jelly. I'd make it a bit thicker than "normal" so it set quickly and had more "filling factor". You can also put fruit or vegetables in it to give it that extra "something". If you keep it in the fridge then there is a "safe thing" to dip your spoon in if you are feeling naughty or need "something".
We associate ice cream and chocolate with being comfort food. That is because they do help to release chemicals. So, as my old nan used to say "A little of what you fancy does you good." In this case, a lot makes you fat! Watch a dog, they will snap down a tasty treat, swallowing it before they taste it. Are you like that? Would you gobble down a choccie bar without tasting most of it? You are NOT making that bar work for its calorie cost! You are not getting your full enjoyment factor out of that bar! That bar will give you energy but do you want the enjoyment or the calories. If the calories then use that bar like a reward card. You have stored points on it. Now, what exciting things are you going to go and do with those points?
Same goes for all foods. They are designed to fuel you. So, are you using your fuel wisely?