Less is NOT the Answer
LESS IS NOT THE ANSWER
When we are talking about losing weight, often we think less is the answer. It has been drilled into us since we were young. Eat less, lose weight. But Is that really the answer? And how much damage has that mindset caused.
The statistics, as they relate to dieting success is abysmal. Especially when you factor in the extremes that people go to in an attempt to be less, and by less I mean, eat less to be smaller or weigh less. Often it leads to failure because these extremes are NOT sustainable over time.
Lack of adequate nourishment can lead to depression. It can also mess with our hormones. Then when failure strikes, it impacts our self esteem. We start to question our resolve, our self control and our discipline. How many times have you said something like this to yourself: “If only I had a little self control when it came to sugar I could lose some weight”? Slowly chipping away at our self esteem… but still believing less is the answer.
I’m never surprised when someone has a bad relationship with food. Eating disorders run rampant not only with women and girls, but men and boys also. I regularly hear from friends and family doing some type of (insert bad food) detox and when I ask those people why they are doing it, it really isn’t about health, it’s about wanting to weigh less.
When you take out all of the calories (the basis for virtually every diet) what comes next? How do I resume a normal life with food as an ally rather than an enemy? Because you can’t live a full and rewarding life with the kind of restrictions these diets impose. And you won’t be successful over time not eating enough.
What is the answer if it’s not less? Generally it is the opposite. More whole nutritious foods. Eating the right amount to fuel our bodies and activities. Not starving ourselves. The science says, to lose weight you have to burn more than you consume. What so few people realize is that there is a basement to how low you can take those calories. You can’t eat less than your body needs to survive. You cannot starve yourself and be successful.
Moving more and being more active is also part of the answer. Not only getting in regular workouts, but increasing our non-exercise activity to help achieve our goal. More food gives us the energy for more activity, as well as increases our mood and helps us sleep.
As mentioned, inadequate nutrition can be a cause of depression, so wouldn’t it be safe to say that proper nutrition can help improve symptoms associated with depression? There are many studies that support this. Proper nutrition improves thyroid function and helps balance hormones associated with depression. The same goes with being more active, becoming stronger and more fit. It is empowering, helps our self esteem and elicits feelings of self control and discipline.It may not be an all out cure, but it can certainly help. The exact opposite of what less does.
If there was one thing I could tell the world it would be this: Less is not the answer. Eating more (whole & nutrient filled foods), doing more, being true to YOU, is the answer.