Losing weight is hard. Maintaining it should not be.

People say that losing weight is easy, while maintaining weight loss is hard. Well, people say a lot of things. And since I’m a person, I’m going to say a thing also.

Losing weight is hard. Maintaining it should not be.  And if maintaining weight loss is hard, it probably means that you’re eating the wrong things.

Why is losing weight hard?

I can’t imagine how losing weight can be easy. I lost weight slowly over a period of two years. I had a goal in mind, and I never faltered. I’m still not 100% there, but I am closer every day.

And guess what. It was HARD as hell. It remains hard. Because in order to lose weight, no matter how you do it, you are starving in some sense. You need your body to use what it has by not giving it what it wants. And that’s hard.

Before your body starts losing weight, you need to burn through: 1) the glucose in your blood; 2) the glycogen in your muscles; and then and only then will it begin on fat reserves.

Sure, there are harder things than losing weight. And sure, there are things you can do to make it less hard. But it’s hard nonetheless, and I have no doubt that some days you will just want to give up.

Why Maintaining Weight Should Be Easy

How did you get heavy in the first place?

Chances are you ate too much crap. But that doesn’t mean it was entirely your fault. Yes, you made bad choices.  You probably either made:

  • very bad choices over a short period of time, OR
  • slightly bad choices over an extended period of time

But in any event, you were under the influence of the food industry, and also of silly FDA guidelines which don’t make much sense. You were getting unfit in an unfit world. And that’s OK.

Sure – it make sense, from the standpoint of biological fitness, for many of us to overeat when food is abundant. Who knows – you might even be genetically or culturally pre-disposed to this issue. And that sucks.

But pre-dispostion won’t keep a mindful and well-informed person fat. Because your fitness level is based more than anything on:

  • the foods you eat; AND
  • the habits you maintain.

The foods you eat are based on availability and your habits. And if you’ve been overweight, then the chances are the you probably formed some bad eating habits. And that’s OK. It’s hard to form fit habits in an unfit world.

But now that you’ve lost the weight, you’ve had the chance to build good habits! Or one would hope.

If you’ve truly build good habits – you can relax a little. All you need to do is maintain those good habits and you should maintain your loss. Of course old ways can come creeping back. So stay mindful.

But if you haven’t built good habits – you need to keep working. Not at losing weight, but at building those good habits. Because good habits are what you need to maintain your weight without suffering. Eating well needs to be your preference! And it can be.

FAQ’s

Are there factors other than good habits that might make maintenance hard? Sure. You might have sleeping issues, or hormonal issues. Or you might be largely sedentary due to a medical condition. But habits are important. You cannot stay fit without good habits.

Will your metabolism slow with age? Yes. You’ll need to make adjustments for all sorts of reasons: age, varying activity levels, etc. But now all you need to do is fill your body with good stuff, and you will stay at a healthy weight.

Take Notice

Maybe this all seems obvious, or easier said than done.

But it’s important to take notice of the power of habit. And it’s important for you to be able to look at yourself and figure out whether you’ve TRULY formed good habits – or whether, on the other hand, those habits are superficially or weakly engrained.

Because if you think maintaining your weight is hard, then it’s likely that your good habits aren’t strongly engrained in your mind.  In this case, it might be helpful for you to think about ways that you can further strengthen your habits. For more on habits, check out my post Why Emotional Eating is Actually Habitual Eating.

Until you ACTUALLY PREFER eating and living well, your weight might always be a struggle. So learning to hack that preference by delving into habit formation might just make your life awesome.

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Lara Bars

Aside from the kind you get wasted in, I’m not the biggest fan of bars. By that I mean, I don’t (generally) eat:

  • Protein and/or Weight Loss bars
  • Cereal and/or Nut bars
  • Nutrigrain bars
  • Fiber One bars
  • Quest bars
  • Isagenix bars
  • etc etc etc bars
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I’ll make an exception for these crummy things

Reasoning

  1. Taste. Many bars taste like chemicals.
  2. Calories vs. Satiety Some of these bars have a ton of calories for just a few bites. Even those bars high in protein don’t seem to satisfy me.
  3. Ingredients. I try to stick to whole foods. Many bars have too many weird ingredients.
  4. Expense. Bars tend to be pretty expensive for what they are.

Lara Bars

Lara Bars are fruit & nut bars advertised as “food made from food.” They are one of the only bars that I eat. And even these, I don’t eat often.

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Here is what they look like before I eat them. 

What I like about Lara Bars:

  • Made from whole foods. Take, for example, the Banana Bread flavor. It has only three ingredients: bananas, dates, and almonds
  • They are vegan.
  • They taste awesome. My favorite flavors are Cherry Pie (3 ingredients) and Carrot Cake (9 ingredients)
  • Nutrition. Every flavor I’ve tried has had a great nutritional profile.

What I dislike about Lara Bars:

  • Calories. Most are around 200-ish calories.
  • Addicting. Maybe it’s me – but I find them slightly addicting.  Meaning, I could easily  eat five bars in one sitting. Not good!
  • Not always easy to find. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, and they often don’t have my favorite flavors.
  • Annoying website. Don’t even go on it, it’s not worth the agony.

In Sum

If you’re looking for a decent bar, a Lara Bar might be a good pick. Especially if you’re trying to avoid processed foods.

But be wary. I would never buy a box and keep it in the house: the temptation is too strong.

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Four Ways to Fight Apathy

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When I reached my highest weight, I felt nothing but apathy. It was as if every day was a cold rainy day, and I just didn’t want to get out of bed. At that time:

  • Getting into even decent shape seemed so far away that it felt more like a fantasy than an achievable goal; and
  • Getting into great shape was completely outside of the realm of possibilities.

The result? 

  • I fell into a complete state of apathy. And if things had gone a little differently, I might still be there today.
  • I wasted precious time dreaming of a fantasy transformation instead of slowly beginning to introduce the small changes that my body actually needed and wanted.

When does apathy strike?: 

Apathy tends to strike when the place where you WANT TO BE seems too far away from the place where you CURRENTLY ARE.

So naturally, you need to find ways to trick your brain into feeling:

  • that the road ahead of you isn’t so bad; AND
  • that you’re closer to where you want to be than you actually are.

Four Ways to Fight Apathy:

  1. Reduce your ambition. This seems counterintuitive, but it works. Try the “do one thing” rule
  2. Set SMALL Behavioral Goals. You can never control outcomes, but you can ALWAYS control behaviors. What is one SMALL behavior you can change every day for this entire week? Examples: have salad for lunch every day; do 50 crunches before bed; eat one probiotic food every day.
  3. Increase your motivation. See here.
  4. Chop up your outcome-based goals. To the extent you do focus on outcome-based goals, cut them up into bite sized chunks. This is important! See my post on Aiming for Eight.

What are some ways that you fight apathy?

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Top Food Related Pranks of 2016

April Fools Day is my favorite.

..And yet, I feel like pranks are getting lamer and lamer by the year (with the exception of my awesome prank this morning).

Because we all love our food and take it very seriously, it looks like 2016 may be the year of the food prank.

Here is a list of the top food related pranks of 2016. Maybe you still have time to make some gullible person cry with one of these.

 

4. Donut Gif

This GIF is making it’s way around the internet. And it’s too cruel for words.

 

3. Grüber

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When I get an email from Grubhub, I pay attention. Today I get an email with the following Headline: “Ride along with Grüber – our new ride-share product!”

And so, the story goes, Grubhub meets Uber. A ridesharing service is born, where the main selling point is that you can ride while basking in the aroma of other people’s food.

2. Trader Joe’s is closing! Nooooooo! 

Yahoo News publishes a story that my beloved Trader Joe’s is closing all of its stores in 2017.

Because Trader Joe’s is the best thing that ever happened to humanity,  the internet flips out.

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I will never trust Yahoo again. Not even with my horoscope. 

1. Pornhub update.

This one is my personal favorite.

I won’t ruin it by commenting here, but if you like corn on the cob, you might want to check out Pornhub.com and see what’s cooking.

But beware! I can’t guarantee it’s safe for work…

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Yeah so – this list isn’t the best. Or at least it’s not as good as the time I convinced my roommate that someone stole her brand new desktop computer from our dorm room, while leaving my laptop perfectly undisturbed.

But you still have time to play your own food related prank on an unsuspecting victim. For a list of great food related pranks click here.

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Spider Eggs – The New Superfood?

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hello >:)

Spiders can be creepy crawly. But did you know that a spoonful of their unborn young can help speed up your metabolism and even strengthen your bones?

Gross.  But is it worth it? I don’t know.

…I say that losing weight sucks. And we can all use a little help.

In theory – spider eggs shouldn’t be any grosser than let’s say chicken eggs or caviar. The idea just takes a little getting used to.

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Just think of it as Earth Caviar.

If you are a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know that I’m not one to put too much stock in shortcuts (see my post Seven Magic Pills to Regulate Your Appetite).

Even so, I’m not going to deny a tactic that might help you achieve your goal weight solely because it’s unconventional. We always need to be open to try new things.

Even if those new things consist of…. spider eggs.

Omelion – C 

The reason spider eggs work is because of a little compound called Omelion-C (O-C).

Like certain proteins, you body naturally creates Omelion-C every day. The only problem is that your body can only create small amounts – which will vary based on a number of factors including your age and genetics.

If you’re of East-Asian descent, you’re in luck. You naturally create the most Omelion-C of any other ethnic group. This might be why East-Asian people, as a whole, tend to be more petite. Bastards!

If you’re unlucky enough to be white, black, or anything other than East Asian – the amount of Omelion-C circulating in your blood is likely far too low to allow you to function at your optimal metabolic rate. Thanks ancestors!

But luckily there are Spider Eggs. Ugh.

How it Works

Well it doesn’t always.

First of all, you need to find the right species of spider. And even so, there’s a chance the spider egg diet might not work for you.

To protect the cute baby spiders from potential insect, bird, and mammal predators – CERTAIN species of spider eggs are wrapped in a special fat-rich membrane. That’s because some of these predators have a hard time digesting the fat. This has two effects on the predators:

  1. The eggs will pass right through the predator’s digestive system and still hatch; and
  2. The fat will make the predator immediately full and uneasy, therefore making it less likely to attempt at eating the spidery siblings and cousins.

In humans, this membrane acts very much the same, but also a little differently.

When this membrane comes in contact with proteins in the human body – it has two effects:

1. the fat-rich membrane increases your levels of satiety; AND

2. the membrane actually triggers a very light immune response which causes your body to flush not only the eggs, but also other toxins in your colon.

But many people are immune! That’s why eating spider eggs won’t work for everyone.

And not all species work! But luckily there are about 2,000 species to choose from. Here are a few species you can try, that are common in North America:

  • Arrowhead Orb Weaver
  • Basilica Orb Weaver
  • Cribellate Orb Weaver
  • Eastern Harvest Man
  • Jerry Orbach head Spider
  • Feather Legged Spider

Unfortunately!

Unfortunately – Spider Eggs haven’t made it to your local Whole Foods just yet, so you might have to try your local Russian food store or international market.

If you find them, you can dissolve them in tea, or even add them to your favorite green smoothie! Blending won’t hurt them, but excessive heat might.

..You can also buy certain species of spider eggs freeze dried on amazon.com. But many people say that the freeze dry process decreases the potency and effect.

I’m not sure myself. I haven’t tried Spider Eggs yet. But I’m working my way up to it.

If you do try any species of spider eggs, please let me know!

..And if you’ve heard of any other weird metabolism stimulating foods – share the wealth.

Happy April Fools!

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