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Like it or not this is the truth about weight loss.

Sometimes I post things on facebook that really should have gone onto the blog for prosperity. Like this one.

Posted by Dave Hargreaves Personal Training on Saturday, 28 March 2015

Decide to make this week a good week, every week.


Losing weight is NOT as hard as people make out.
Hell I keep doing it by accident when my goal is to get bigger, if anything.


To lose weight you need to make food choices that result in total energy intake that is more appropriate to your goal weight. Being active will help, TRAINING effectively even more so. But total energy intake being more appropriate is 90% of the battle.

Where this gets confusing is the one person might cut out "Food A" and lose weight, and therefore they proclaim "Food A was the problem all along. You just need to cut that out". And you're like "BUT I LOVE FOOD A. I could never cut that out for good".

The good news is that they're wrong. For them, cutting out Food A resulted in total energy intake that was less inappropriate, they ate other stuff they were more enthusiastic about instead, and boom goes the dynamite.

For YOU, you can do it how best suits you. Same food choices in more appropriate portion sizes? You'll lose weight. Just cut back on the indulgent treats you've been in the habit of tucking into in the evenings? If you're over doing that regularly, then NOT over doing that regularly will enough to lose some weight.

What people forget, or neglect to mention is that if you do have some weight to lose, you don't have to do everything perfect all of the time in order to get started. Simply getting your activity level more appropriate, and your total energy intake less inappropriate, most of the time will take you a long way.

If you establish those habits you really will go a long way. The more consistent you are, and especially if you have a good and effective training program to follow, the more progress you'll see. But simply being "more appropriate / less inappropriate" is enough to begin with.

I always emphasise the point. It is what you do habitually that determines your body weight and condition. One day where you eat something "bad" or over indulge a little will make very little difference if any at all in isolation, so long as your regular habits are not inappropriate.

So. It all sounds pretty easy, right?

There's a catch though. There's always a catch, you know that by now.

The catch is that the only thing that's easier than establishing these new habits is to slip back into your old habits. That's the easiest thing on Earth, and we're all likely to do it if we don't have a system, or a plan in place to ensure we don't become complacent.

We don't need to be perfectionists with unrealistic expectations. From time to time we WILL become complacent and slip back towards our old habits that aren't conducive to our goal condition. What we want to do is notice when that's starting to happen, and to make a little adjustment and steer back in the right direction again.

Fortunately this is not so difficult either.

Take this one week at a time. We'll say "on the weekend" but these days everyone's schedule can vary so on whatever day counts as your weekend you need to decide how that week is going to play out. Now ideally you would have established a regular training schedule. How is that looking this week? Are you going to make all of them or is there a legit reason why that's not looking so good this week? If not, decide upon what days you can definitely train and decide that not only is it definitely going to happen but you're extra enthusiastic about that as well.

You can get down in the dumps about not being able to set up a perfect week, or you can get extra enthusiastic about doing the very best you can when you are able to. If you do that and if you believe in the power of positive thinking, you might even find that an opportunity presents itself and you get to pick up the session you thought you were going to miss, as well.

Eating works the same way. Decide that you're going to practice the good and appropriate eating habits that work best for you in ensuring you get all that you need but don't end up over eating later on.

Decide that long term success is the only outcome that you will accept, and understand that a flexible, moderate approach based on doing the best you can, as often as you can will get you there.

The Demonisation Of Processed Foods Has Gone Way Too Far

For a while now I've had an issue with the amount of nonsense that gets put around about quote/unquote "processed food" and how you can't be healthy, can't lose weight, can't be in shape & and are a poor excuse for a human being if you ever eat any of it.

I mean... really.

There are lots of foods on the shelves of the supermarket that don't make for a great choice in meeting your nutritional requirements without exceeding your energy requirements. This much is true, however for the most part these particular "unhealthy" products aren't really marketed as things you should rely on for every meal. They're more like snack products and so on, for the most part.

To say "we should eat less processed foods" isn't bad advice, as in implies eating more fresh fruit and vegetables instead, for example. But interpreting that advice as "any food out of packet is inherently bad at any amount or frequency" is not correct and I've been saying for a while it is actually harmful. For example when you have the case of someone who is trying to get into shape through restrictive dieting and excessive exercise without results, the idea that a specific, particular choice of meal or snack is responsible for the lack of results especially coupled with the inference that they "weren't disciplined enough to earn it" or whatever is particular harmful and conducive to the development of eating disorder.

What we've seen in the past week though is a step beyond even this, with the suggestion that commercial baby formula is unsafe and unhealthy, merely on the basis that it "comes from a tin" and has ingredient names that people don't recognise. Worse still when the "healthy alternative" people are being encouraged to use instead actually has the potential to kill a child due to the inappropriate level of certain nutrients that it might contain.

Why all the hate for "big food?" I'll paste in my comments in reply to the message above on the Blocked By Pete page on facebook.

It comes across to me like these people literally think of "big food" as a bunch of diabolical Monty Burns type characters sitting around scheming about "how can we trick people into ingesting more toxic chemicals and tell 'em it's healthy? ESPECIALLY BABIES?"

I mean... I'm not the most trusting person but even I don't see any reason to assume anything remotely like that is plausible. Truth be told, although I might come across otherwise sometimes, I don't even think that's what's going on with most of the "alternative nutrition" crowd... they're not deliberately evil, they're just deluded narcissists who can't accept that their gut feeling might not be as accurate as legit scientific investigation, and just keep digging in deeper the more flawed their position is shown to be. Except for a couple I won't name right now who i believe are genuinely just very bad people.

The idea that baby formula isn't / wouldn't be healthy and safe on the basis that it is produced by "big food" though? You'd need to actually provide some evidence, not just act like it is self evident.

Baby formula is an answer to a problem of the instance where a new mother is not able to produce enough breast milk for some reason, or hell it is 2015... the biological mother might not even be in the picture, it could be a single dad or even a two dad family. So in these instances we have a need for a product that replicates the nutritional content of breast milk as closely as possible to ensure the infant can get what it needs to thrive. And "big food" goes "yeah there's some money in that, we can do that" and there you have it.

This whole "we need a healthier more natural alternative to formula' is problematic on two fronts as #1 it just puts more pressure on to new parents who are probably stressed out and in many cases made to feel guilty already due to not having success in breast feeding, and #2 so far (and believe me I have been asking) no one has been able to tell me exactly why people need to be looking for an alternative to formula as if it in some way questionable.

It's a very good, very dangerous example of why this whole demonisation of processed foods thing has gotten way, way, WAY out of hand.

Come see what people are saying about this entry on facebook.


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