In Search of a Miracle – Is Perfect Necessary?
As I may have mentioned before, no flour and no sugar is perfect. The perfect beef comes from a cow fed solely on grass. The perfect vegetable is grown organically without any chemicals.
Perfection is, well, ideal but rarely absolutely necessary or sometimes even possible. But there are some cases.
If you happen to have Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disease) then you should perfectly avoid gluten. Perfect avoidance of peanuts is needed for a person with a peanut allergy. Alpha-gal syndrome (caused by a tick bite) requires perfect avoidance of meat/meat products from hooved animals. These conditions call for perfection.
Otherwise the only perfection you need is the affordable diet that will help you avoid or lose enough body fat to minimize the chances of chronic illnesses. The diet good enough that you can live with it for the rest of your life. Your perfection!
Any way you cut it, losing body fat requires fewer calories. The issue is plain, how you are willing/able to reduce and maintain reduced calories without discomfort. Few will consciously create and deal with discomfort long term.
As we move forward here, remember the “ding” referred to in earlier articles. Commercial food producers know that the “ding”is caused by the Bliss Point. They have scientists who specialize in that.
Bliss Point describes the combination of ingredients that maximize the deliciousness of a food, the taste and mouth feel, The combination that can hook you to want more and more. The combination that caused Lays to be able to say “No one can eat just one.” The combination that caused me to continue stuffing Cheez-its in my mouth until the box was empty.
So anyway, how to get those calories down!
Let’s start with the sources of the calories that matter, fat and carbohydrates. Protein does indeed have calories but they aren’t a source of energy. It’s energy that stores as body fat.
You can lose weight on a very high carbohydrate diet with very low fat. This would be probably be a vegan diet including no meat/meat by products. Meat, in case you have’t thought about it, contains most of the natural fat available in nature. Plants have very little fat and are usually very low calorie.
You probably remember herbivores, the 65% of earth’s animals that browse full time on plants. With this diet you can become effectively a herbivore. You will be hungry and eating frequently all day long, and there will be a few missing essential nutrients like B12 that need to be supplemented. But you will lose weight.
You can lose weight on a very low carbohydrate diet with high fat (think ketogenic or Keto). In fact, a carnivore diet (meat/meat products only) would be the ultimate of this – no plant carbs at all.
In the absence of carbohydrates, the combination of protein and fat in this diet dramatically reduces hunger, resulting in fewer meals, missing snacks, consequently fewer calories.
You will not lose weight on a diet that combines high carbohydrate with high fat. It’s that high/high diet that inevitably includes all those foods that cause the “ding” described above. This seems to happen for two reasons: the highest possible number of calories combined with the motivation to continue eating beyond hunger.
Extreme levels of “dings” turn life into a continuous celebration, a celebration resulting in excessive body fat.
The Middle Ground
All three of the options above options are extremes. Is there not an option that isn’t extreme? Can’t you get “ding” like celebrations without going straight down hill? Indeed you can!
Several months ago a obese, younger woman came to my food pantry with lupus and in great pain, barely able to reach the chair. I gave her my book and suggested she consider eliminating or reducing flour and sugar in her diet. She took my book and advice to heart.
Yesterday I saw her again, 30 lbs lighter and still losing, not in pain and able to move around easily. I enjoyed watching her walk briskly to her car.
Her husband has also lost 30 lbs. She has more fat to lose but 30 lbs was enough to change her life. Lost along with her weight is her craving for bread but she says it took a bit to make that happen. Apparently being miserable created enough motivation to stay the course. She knows this is permanent course change.
The goal is the middle ground. Losing enough body fat to get below your fat cells’ max accumulation or, better yet, avoiding reaching your max accumulation. Simply minimizing the list of flour/sugar based foods on the grocery and convenience store shelves is usually enough.
Here is that list again in case you have forgotten: bread, sweet treats, dry cereal, hamburger/hot dog buns, rolls, biscuits, pizza crust, pasta, taco shells, pancakes, gravy, batter for meat, tortilla chips, crackers, Doritos,
Figure out which you can eliminate. Be selective about your celebrations. Do it! Expect some early struggles because, after all, habits are sometimes difficult to change.
Don’t be in a Hurry
Losing quickly is not the goal. The more extra weight you carry, the more your brain thinks that body fat is needed for a rainy day and is reluctant to give it up. Sneak up on the fat loss slowly.
Don’t count calories and don’t weigh daily. When your clothes become too big, the inches around your waist are less, you are on a roll. If that doesn’t happen you’ve probably been to generous with your celebrations.
If you happen to be diabetic, have high triglycerides and/or heart trouble you have likely reached max accumulation. And you already have discomfort in unfortunate ways, just like my food pantry friend mentioned above. Perhaps you motivation will match hers. ___________________________________________________________
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Her books are available on Amazon, at Bob’s Food City in Mount Ida, and at the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. Her website is http://www.allaboutthefood.org/ She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 501-605-3902. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/patsmithbooks.