One would think that with so much information about body positivity and the benefits of eating a whole food diet, weight loss industry would no longer hit a new peak. And yet, it is quite the opposite - weight loss industry is constantly growing ($72 billion value in 2018, with the forecast to grow 2.6% annually through 2023). Millennials (people born from 1981 to 1996) represent the future generation of dieters. Diet companies now rely on social media and influencers, offering dieters affordable programs, apps and virtual weight loss program options. Evidently, we still want to look sexy and skinny. Or not?
First, let's look at some weight loss myths which I considered as busted a long time ago. But after some research, it seems those decades of low fat craze are not easily undone.
Myth NB.1: All calories are created equal
Even a small child would recognize that 1,000 calories of broccoli and 1,000 calories of soda would not have the same benefits when it comes to healing and nourishing their bodies. Why is it then, that conventional nutritionists still suggest counting calories when it comes to weight loss?
Myth NB.2: Calories in, calories out
I vividly remember those days working out in the gym Bridget Jones' style (remember that scene?) to burn off one croissant. I considered myself a hero when I fell off (literally) the machine, sweaty and lightheaded. I indulged in another one the next morning, I can sweat it out, so what? As mentioned above, all calories are NOT created equal. As my favorite doctor simply puts it: 'The glucose from sodas, croissants and such spikes your blood sugar, starting a domino effect of high insulin and a cascade of hormonal responses that kicks bad biochemistry into gear. The high insulin increases storage of belly fat, increases inflammation, raises triglycerides and lowers HDL, raises blood pressure, lowers testosterone in men, and contributes to infertility in women.' Yikes!
Myth NB.3: The Fat I eat becomes the fat on my body
'There is never enough butter', said Julia Child. And she was right. A creamy, buttery butter from pasture raised cows has a heavenly taste and can enhance every dish. Unfortunately, the margarine industry made us believe that butter will enhance only our bellies and hips and instead served us a substitute with a soap like taste (not one soul would touch that frankenfood a hundred years ago, so why should we)
Myth NB.4: The more I exercise, the more I lose weight
Do I need to say more? As mentioned above, all calories are NOT created equal and consuming too many sugary foods will wreak havoc on your body by creating insulin spikes, which leads to...(see above)
How about pleasure?
While studying the eating psychology, the first thing that made me smile as a foodblogger was the emphasis on pleasure while eating. It seems only natural that the food we eat should be pleasurable, don't you think? Food is so much more than calories, fat, macro and micro nutrients. Food is nourishment, food is information, it encompasses everything from a delightful feeling while eating in a nice environment with people you like, it is experiencing who we are as eaters, it is all that and much more. If only we could see beyond calories and nutrients and simply be present here and now with our food. By the way, can you have a pleasurable experience while eating a BigMac in your car stuck in the traffic?