We Can’t ALL Be Wrong

Don’t I wish I had a nickel five dollars for every time someone has said to me, “I’m only eating one meal a day but I’m still not losing weight.” Or some variation on that theme. I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d have a stockpile of Lincolns to spend on my upcoming vacation.

I love LOVE when the lamenter follows up the lament by asking my opinion on why they might not be losing weight. Then, after explaining that I am certainly no expert on the matter (and I’m NOT), I can slap them upside the head and yell, “YOU HAVE TO EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT!”

Well, in my head that’s what I do. In the real world, I usually laugh and tell them how the concept of eating to lose weight was one of the most valuable lessons (and most surprising to this life-long dieter) I learned along the way. I spent many years trying to lose weight the wrong way, and while I don’t have it all down perfectly 100% of the time, I have made drastic improvements. There’s plenty of time to get the last 3% right. {snerk}

But usually, my suggestions for changes folks might make to their ways of eating are met with arguments about just why that won’t work for them. If they eat breakfast, they won’t lose weight. If they eat anything except plain lettuce and tomato for lunch, they won’t weight. If they look at a slice of bread, they won’t lose weight.

I’ve run out of ways to politely remind them that they were just complaining about not losing weight even though they’re doing (or not doing) all those things, and if what they’re doing now isn’t working, maybe one or two of the things I’m suggesting might be worth a try.

In the past 3 months of these type discussions, I’m 0-for-4. So I’ve decided to bring in the big guns. Well, the only big gun that dropped into my mailbox.

Woman’s Day recently published their thoughts on the Women’s 8 Biggest Eating Mistakes. I’m thinking of laminating it and carrying in my purse as a reference card to show people that this isn’t some cockeyed idea I came up with on my own.

You can follow the link for the nitty-gritty, but according to WD, women are eating too much of these types of foods (act surprised!):
– sodium
– sugar
– processed and red meats
– processed carbs

WD says we’re eating too little of these nutrients:
– fiber
– protein
– water

In their article, WD doesn’t mention fat, healthy or otherwise, but in my opinion, most of us don’t eat enough healthy fat. I still have trouble getting it in consistently, but I’m working on it.

Basically, the article suggests we eat lots of fresh produce, lean protein, and whole grains, and limit the processed foods. Check the labels. Drink water. Etc., etc., etc.

Everyone I know who has successfully lost weight and maintained the loss (and thanks to blogging, that’s a LOT of people) follows some variation of that nutritional guideline. We can’t ALL be wrong.

Can we?

16 thoughts on “We Can’t ALL Be Wrong

  1. We aren’t wrong. I was one of those “can’t eat breakfast” types and I was having this conversation with my sister just yesterday. She hates breakfast, but knows she needs to eat or else she will stray off her plan by the afternoon. The trick is to find something real and identifiable to eat at an appropriate for you. Me? I don’t eat the very first thing in the morning but a bit later in the morning. But I do have breakfast. You do have to eat to lose weight – it makes it EASIER :-)

    Great post, Cammy.

  2. I always get surprised when folks think starvation is the way to lose weight. sigh. Such a sad statement that we feel we have to take such drastic measures. Love this post Cammy!!!

  3. I am shocked, just shocked at that list of eating mistakes. It can’t possibly be right. Isn’t the secret the latest diet pill or fad diet? It has to beeeee!!!

    I tend to find that those people who say they eat one meal a day and can’t lose often aren’t really honest with themselves. They do eat only one meal, but either is a a really caloric meal (a 1500 calorie ‘healthy’ fast food salad) or they aren’t really notices the nibbles of candies or snacks that can sneak in. If you walk by the candy dish 10 times in a day and grab 10 chocolates, those things add up without thinking about it.

  4. Definitely agree that less processed food, sugar and salt are positive steps towards weight loss and form the basis of most sensible eating plans. I suppose people are after a quick fix – they don’t realise that losing weight is about creating healthy habits for life.

  5. That reminds me of the question I hear so often: “What must I do when I get hungry?” EAT, of course! It’s a shame that as a society we’ve lost touch with our bodies to the extent that we have no idea how to take care of them anymore… And yes, I was there too. This weight didn’t ambush me in a dark alley!

  6. I think Lori really hit the nail on the head here….I have a family member who laments ALL the time that she only eats one meal a day but can’t lose weight. But that one meal is something grabbed during a lunch hour and I’ve watched her nibble at least 1,000 calories during the day that she never realizes she’s eating.

  7. YES to this post!!! So funny cause I am talking what I eat on my blog today. I did it all wrong back when too AND avoided healthy fat back then.

    I do the things you wrote about & eat more than when I was doing it wrong back then.

    I am so with you when people keep telling you they can’t do that yet what they are doing is not working!

  8. Cammy I do agree with you 100%! I am a health coach and when I approach people who have complained to me that they can’t lose weight, there’s always an excuse why it won’t work for them. I just take it that those people aren’t ready. I do have to say though, that just eating healthy is not enough for some people, and they could do with some guidance. When I couldn’t lose weight, I went to a nutritionist, and he helped me learn how to eat for my body chemistry. It made all the difference.

  9. Amen to this Cammy! What drives me nuts are the women on the Dr OZ show who tell him “I’ve tried everything and I just can’t lose weight.” This can’t be true,except for a small portion of the population who have thyroid problems or who can’t lose because of medication they are on. The rest of the folks don’t make a permanent lifestyle change, they go back to eating the way they always have. I know, because I have been there and done that! The first step is to own it!

  10. I hope it’s cool that a man posts something on here? :)

    Your post is great! Eating more to lose more is counterintuitive. It is also brilliant. Thanks for unpacking that idea in light and fun way!



  11. This reminded me of a conversation the Mr overheard at work last week. This guys is doing some low carb diet and all he eats is one 1300 calorie meal of bacon wrapped meatloaf every day and water and is going around like he’s the Dalai Lama of the weight loss world because he’s lost 8 lbs. The Mr just shook his head and in his head said “talk to me when you’ve lost 200 lbs pal!” It amazes me the extremes people go to when it really doesn’t take giving up everything you love.

  12. I get these types of questions a lot, too. And my first question is always: “Are you counting your calories?” and then “Are you eating proper portions of your foods?” Usually they say no…that they are eye-balling it, that they keep a tally of food in their head, etc. Seeing it written down in black and white is way different. I tried “eye-balling” it for awhile and gain about 15 pounds. It just doesn’t work! Our eyes will always be bigger than our stomachs, but seeing your calorie count for the day reaching the limit might just make us say “I’ll skip the second helpings tonight”.

  13. I agree – we can’t all be wrong. No way.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts versus what you actually say to people. :) You may have just inspired a post….

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