Of course deprivation works!
What does it mean to lose fat? It means to burn fat because:
- you are starving to death, and
- you are not giving your body enough fuel to do the functions it needs to do
If you ARE getting enough fuel, then you’re NOT going to burn fat. There’s no magic. You’re just NOT going to burn fat without depriving your body of what it needs – fuel.
..And that’s why losing weight feels shitty. No matter how you do it.
You can lose weight:
- Slowly, by eating SLIGHTLY LESS than you need over a long period of time;
- Quickly, by eating FAR LESS than you need over a shorter period of time; and/or
- *Optional* by increasing your need for fuel by increasing your energy output (exercise) [slowly or quickly]
You can also:
- Set yourself up for success by understanding habit formation;
- Set yourself up for success by removing addictive foods from your diet and life (at least for a short period);
- Set yourself up for success by understanding how willpower and motivation actually work.
- Set yourself up for success by understanding the basics of appetite, and also becoming mindful of your appetite.
- Set yourself up for success by understanding the basics of metabolism
Deprivation works to lose weight, NOT to maintain it.
I CAN’T lose weight slowly. Healthy or not healthy – I just can’t do it. I spent 20+ years trying. I can’t deprive myself ‘slightly’ day after day for months, hoping to lose 1-2 pounds per week. I can’t continue to eat a diet of processed foods, while counting calories. It just doesn’t work for me. I can’t do it, and I won’t do it.
I CAN lose weight quickly through “RESPONSIBLE Deprivation.” Here is what I CAN do:
- lose weight (relatively) quickly in spurts, and *IMPORTANTLY* punctuate these periods with periods of maintenance.
- use methods like intermittent fasting to lose weight
- cut out processed foods that I find addicting for long periods of time during weight loss periods
I CAN’T maintain my weight through responsible deprivation. I CAN’T maintain my weight through:
- counting calories,
- cutting out food groups, and/or
To me, that’s not a life – it’s too much deprivation. In the end, too much deprivation will cause me to gain weight. To maintain my weight – I eat a mostly whole foods diet. Here is how I eat. My weight maintains itself:
- mostly plants, most days (including starchy plants)
- mostly whole foods, as little processed food as possible
- watch my alcohol intake
- never eat unless I’m hungry
- lot’s of soups and salads
We need to separate “weight loss” from “maintenance.”
Weight loss is hard! Somewhere along the line, something got messed up and now you need to fix it. The only way to do that is by giving your body less fuel than it needs. And that’s fucking hard! Your body thinks it’s dying. So it’s best not to gain weight in the first place! (duh!).
..but once you do find yourself in a position where you need to lose weight, then forget the weight loss myths. Lose weight however you can, and forget the lies. Just be careful of the following:
- don’t give yourself nutritional deficiencies
- don’t give yourself electrolyte imbalances
- don’t physically exert yourself while suddenly eating less
- listen to your body
Weight maintenance should NOT be hard!
Why? Because if weight maintenance is hard, you’ll gain the weight back. You can’t deprive yourself forever. You can only do it for short periods.
If maintaining weight is hard, that means you’re eating the wrong things. What are “wrong things”? “Wrong things” = foods meant to addict you aka processed foods.
Being Fit in an Unfit World
This post is largely an oversimplification.
But my point is this: many of the things you hear about weight loss are myths and fantasies.
- Losing weight quickly, for example, doesn’t make you any more likely to gain it back. In fact, there are studies that show otherwise.
- Skipping meals is not a bad thing for most people, in fact – it might be a great thing.
When it comes to weight loss, do whatever you CAN do. Because weight loss is hard, and you need to fight this uphill battle in whatever way works for you. Just be careful not to hurt yourself, and be smart.
And once you lose weight, be mindful! You can’t deprive yourself forever, so you need a system for success.
My system is sticking (mostly) to foods that human beings are suppose to eat. This means avoiding things that come out of boxes, but enjoying these things in moderation to whatever extent I find reasonable.
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