Losing weight is a real challenge for people who depend on food to comfort them. I went to a Holiday party where the discussion turned to food and weight. Misconceptions and untruths were sprinkled generously throughout the conversation, in my view as a way to justify their present state of big bellies, man boobs and muscle loss. Generally I don’t pipe up in such discussions because I understand that people making excuses are not ready, that they disseminate disinformation as a way to reinforce and bolster their decision not to have made necessary changes yet.
What was stated that was so revealing was people’s agreement that they still had time to make needed changes in health, weight and fitness despite their advanced years and underlying existing health problems. It’s great to have an optimistic attitude as long as it is not based on fantasy. People in their 60s who state they still have plenty of time to lose weight and begin a physique-changing fitness regimen sometime in the future are fooling themselves, which of course is their entire intent.
I did suggest one thing in general terms. I said, “If people who want to lose weight would just cut their carb intake and fast food intake in half — bread, pasta, potatoes, whatever — they would soon begin to see weight loss while still being able to eat favorite foods. If you have two slices of toast for breakfast, have just one. If you have two cups of rice or mashed potatoes with dinner, have just one. If you normally eat a McDonald's large fries order a small.”
This set off a debate among big-bellied people about why this cannot be true (“I read somewhere that your body will think it’s starving and go into survival mode and your metabolism will shut down!”.) Then the guy with the V-shaped torso got up and excused himself to go get a glass of wine and left while the pear-shaped guests remained to expound on their superior knowledge of things.
The moral was these people felt threatened by the suggestion to take even a first step — even one as relatively painless as their cutting carb intake in half. With every improvement we make in life, we have to start someplace, and it begins with that first step.