Monday, June 18, 2012

Is the Clean Plate Club Keeping You Fat?

Last week I was seeing a new weight loss client who brought along her adult daughter, telling me, "We both want to lose weight".  I thought it was great they each had a support system and "diet buddy". They both told me about diets they had been on in the past, and how difficult they found it to lose weight and keep it off--stories I hear every day.
I like to remind my clients of some of the reasons it is difficult to lose weight. Humans, after all, are programmed to want to eat whenever food is available. Our race would not have survived if we did not want to eat at every opportunity, or were just satisfied with a few nuts and berries.
Unfortunately for people who want to lose weight, food is everywhere now, and very easy to get: Drive through fast food, candy bars at every check-out lane, hot dogs and donuts when you go inside to pay for your gasoline, snacks at work, donuts at meetings and appetizers at friends' homes.
And, research shows, the portions are so large now compared to a few decades ago. Grabbing a burger, fries and a soda can mean nearly twice the calories it used to, with double burgers, extra large fries, and 32-oz sodas being the norm. You can see just how much things have changed in this helpful program brought to you by the National Institute of Health called Portion Distortion.

This prompted a comment from the daughter about how large the servings are in restaurants. She told me about a place where she and her husband had dined recently: "We are never going back there. The plate of food he got was so humongous, he actually had to rest halfway through the meal. He had to stop and take a break before he could finish it all. And when we left he was uncomfortably full. We aren't going back there again--it was a terrible experience."

I was speechless. My first thought--which I had to suppress from exclaiming--was, "Am I on Candid Camera?" Did she really just blame the restaurant for giving her husband too much food? Did they actually not see any option, obvious to every other person out there? Have they never left food on their plate or asked for a take-home container?

Yes, it's hard enough in all our fast-paced and hectic lives, to ignore yummy calorie-dense foods tempting us at every turn, to find time to exercise, and to resist craving the immense satisfaction we get from savoring a sweet or salty snack. It's hard enough to stop eating something we like when there's more of it, or to plop down on the couch instead of lacing up our sneakers and going for a walk.

Weight loss is hard. Don't make it harder by persisting to be a member of the clean plate club; by eating everything that is in front of you all the time; by ignoring the signs your body is sending you: "Stomach Ache!!" it screams. "Stop eating now or you'll be sorry in the next 10 minutes!!"

Just listen.

There are a lot of ways to lose weight. Some are tough; they require structure and discipline, planning and changing, hard work and deprivation.
And sometimes it just requires that you stop eating when you're full.


obesity and fat loss treatment said...

Thanks for this useful post. Proper diet & regular exercise is very effective in weight control.

Jacquet philippe said...

Interesting and important information about weight loss. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks
weight loss