More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Have you heard that old saying – “There is more than one way to skin a cat”? The message is, there is always more than one way to get almost anything done. And there are always pros and cons to the options.

The first question that comes to mind is why do you want to skin that cat in the first place?

Why do you want to skin that cat?

There are several ways to clean your car, each of which varies in the required amount of effort, time, money, soap, and water. How important is it to you for the car to be clean? What is the penalty if its not clean?

Here we aren’t concerned with cats or cars. Instead our topic is weight. About 50% of Americans are overweight or obese. Most of those Americans have at least thought about losing some or all of that extra weight. In this article we are going to call that extra weight body fat. So why might you want to skin that cat?

Cosmetic? Don’t like how we look in our clothes or a bathing suit.

Comfort? We sweat big time, tire easily, can’t exercise, develop rashes. Struggle to play with our children.

Health? We have stuff wrong (conditions), we take medicine for it, and we know our extra fat has a lot to do with it. Perhaps we hurt a lot and are sick more often than we would like. Very inconvenient.

COVID-19? See Health above.

Doctors and medications are expensive. And to make it worse, they call our conditions underlying and those poor people who get really sick and sometimes die from COVID-19 seem to have those conditions.

Dying, at least right now, seems so unnecessary.

So make note of why your weight is a cat you might want to skin. Then review below the possible ways to get that done along with the pros and cons.

The Possibilities

Eat less.

Doesn’t limit your diet options, just eat a lot less of it – consistently – forever. The major con to this approach is that it requires discipline – consistently – forever. Most of us won’t go on forever in a state of denial and slowly start eating more. Then the weight comes back on.

Your diet is nutritionally deficient. Otherwise you wouldn’t have gained all that extra fat. So eating less of the same stuff is still nutritionally deficient.

The existence of too much body fat and the absence of nutrition in your food is the basis for your health conditions.

Count calories.

This option has potential as long as you are selective about what you eat and willing to count. If you continue to eat exactly what got you fat and unhealthy in the first place then this just turns out to be the same as eating less with more effort.

Requires the same amount of discipline and consistency. In other words, all the same disadvantages.

Remember, the existence of too much body fat and the absence of nutrition in your food is the principal basis for your health conditions.

Eat whole food

As chapter eleven in my book, It’s All About the Food, describes “there are at least 25 named vitamins and minerals along with heaven knows how many antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavenoids, some 5000 or more enzymes, and a pile of fatty and amino acids required for the operation of the human body.” You may call these nutrients.

When you eat whole foods, natural food grown in a garden somewhere or from meat that grazes in a field/caught from water you get those nutrients. When you eat processed food found in a package, sack, box, or bottle (anything with a label of ingredients) most of those nutrients are not there. What you are getting is a lot of energy that is going to become the extra fat on your body.

Stuff that grows out of the ground (we can call these vegetables) and animals/fish are sources of energy and the nutrients listed above. The energy in things that grow out of the ground is carbohydrate (starch/sugar/glucose). The carbohydrates themselves are not necessary in your diet (your body is more than ready to create whatever glucose it needs) but the nutrients are essential.

The crux of the problem

Therein lies the crux of the problem with your weight. Too much energy in the form of carbohydrates from the processed food in your pantry or that bite you grabbed at your favorite fast food eatery or doughnut shop. Very convenient and tasty and unhealthy.

Lose that extra weight and keep it off and miracles often happen. I see them every day. Diabetes blood sugar problems disappear. Fatty liver, messed up lipids on your blood test, arthritis, digestive issues, many autoimmune disease (the list goes on ) can actually just fade away.

And why is that? Because it was the food that made you sick, no matter how much you enjoyed eating it.

All those excess carbohydrates create the health problems we are trying to avoid. In the meantime, if you really want to skin this weight cat, select the option that will make you healthy. And stick with it.

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. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. Her website is She can be contacted at, 870-490-1836. Her Facebook page is