If you are fat, you can bet it’s your own fault, but you can do something about it. It’s not a matter of switching to low-carb ice cream, or getting onion rings instead of French fries, either. And if you’re thinking of “doing” Adkins or South Beach, or the Peanut M&M diet (I am not shitting you, there really is one), you are lost.
See, making significant changes in your diet requires a “chronic” rather than “acute” adaptation. If you are getting fat at the average rate of 2-3 pounds a year, you’re on a deadly path.
We’re not just worried about looking good naked, either. And if you’re a parent, you’re not the only one that’s going to die early because of your nutritional choices.
Do you know that kids exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke DAILY have fewer health problems than kids who eat fast food more than 4 times a week? Do you know that the average American kid now eats at McDonalds (not just any fast food) three times per week?
OK, so back to you. My job is to plan and implement training programs for athletes and to build fat loss plans for those who want to get skinny. I used to say that 50% of fat loss was diet. I blew it. I’d say that number is more like 90%.
One of the first things that come up with many of my clients when we start talking nutrition is what to eat when they eat out. Well, water’s pretty harmless, but beyond that you’re on your own.
Instead of figuring out which fried sandwich has fewer calories, let’s try to make some real changes that you can stick with. Here are four things you can do starting today (and continuing for the rest of your life) that will make a real difference in how fat are, and in how fat your family will be.
1. Balance carbohydrates with protein. OK, so you don’t have the mettle to quit sugar. How about this: every time you eat carbohydrates, you eat an equal amount of protein. Want a cookie? Eat an egg with it. Eating pasta? Load up on the meat sauce. I know eggs and cookies sounds gross, but maybe not as gross as being so fat you’re not able to wipe your own butt…
2. Get rid of the juice. But juice is fruit right? Wrong. It’s Pepsi without the bubbles. Bottom line is you shouldn’t ever drink a calorie. This includes energy drinks, Gatorade, and your precious glass of wine (or five) with dinner.
3. Plan. That’s right, think ahead. Plan out what you’ll eat each day before you’re starving. Studies show that people who plan what they are going to eat are 4-6% thinner than those who don’t.
4. Get real. Come to grips with the fact that the tasty treats you shovel in are holding you back in a big way. As soon as you really can get your head around the damage you’re doing to your body, avoiding bad food becomes easy. It’s a simple switch as soon as you can associate good eating with pleasure and being a fat, weak slob with pain. In fact, as soon as you decide to eat right, you’re there. It’s just that you are no good at making decisions…just stating preferences.
What you’re doing now is not working. You’re dying fast and getting uglier, so you’d better be willing to make some tough choices. Take control of your life, even if it’s the first time you ever have. Start eating right, and the rest of fitness becomes a snap. -SB