22 March 2011

Dieting so easy...

... a caveman could do it! (Thanks GEICO)

I overheard two coworkers discussing weight loss recently and just had to chime in. One was touting a half-pound weight loss over a week... and the other brought up the Twinkie Diet. I realize I've decided to be less militant this year, however I just had to say something to these people. I skipped my usual comment that the weight-loss was probably just water weight and went right for the throat of the Twinkie Diet comment. I explained that being healthy is not just about weight loss and the twinkie diet did not take into account other health markers or the fact it is not sustainable (and I've since found out he didn't just eat twinkies, "He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks."). I also added that cancer makes you lose weight, so does that make it good? It was then I heard the usual remark: "It is too hard to eat the way you do." Not that I believe for a second they know fully how I eat, I think they are just making excuses to simplify things. And simplifying things, such as simply looking at a scale for progress, is setting yourself up for failure.

I learned to ditch the scale early in my life. In my freshman year of college, while home on summer break, I was introduced to the Adkins diet that a coworker was following. I read nothing on the diet, I just simply ate low carb. Combining that with some strength training, I lost about 25 pounds. My goal was to drop 30 pounds, to get from 200 down to 170. As I approached my goal, I started losing the ground I conquered. My time in the gym was adding weight, keeping me from hitting 170. I was strong but not lean and realized that my focus should be more about fat loss rather than weight loss. I should also add my coworker that followed Adkins properly lost nearly 60 pounds, but also had her hair start falling out. Again, simplifying things such as just going low to no carbohydrate was not the way to go.

Having learned to eat smarter and work out smarter, it really is easy to go paleo. I f**king love what I eat (bacon and eggs, steak, fresh veggies, coconut milk, etc.) and feel a thousand times better and more focused than I ever was before. Having trashed my scale several years ago, I weighed myself at a friend's place while on the road this past weekend. 156 pounds. And I know for a fact I am stronger than the 175+ pound version of me I mentioned above. And hell, I am not doing anything. I am not running, or lifting, or doing anything special. In fact, since I hurt my knee, I've leaned up further by focusing on my diet and going from 80/20 to more of a 90/10. I've also been focusing on getting sun whenever I can and making sleep a priority. But truthfully, I know some people would rather hear they could eat nothing but twinkies and lose weight. And as that half pound of weight loss turns into 5 pounds of weight gain, they will probably not even wonder what happened because that is how it always happens to them. Little do they know (even with me telling them!) that with a little legwork, understanding human physiology, they could become healthier in a simple fashion.