Dieting

I think one thing nobody is told is that dieting to lose weight results in a war between your mind and your body. The conflict occurs because your mind thinks you should lose some weight while your body reacts as if you were trying to starve it to death. Guess who is going to win in this struggle for survival. The battle is waged for six weeks to six months and then your body is victorious because it perceived it had the larger stake in the outcome.

I think you are also not told that your body does not like to be fooled. When it wants calories it wants real nourishment. I once saw a woman at the end of a half marathon given a can of diet pop. Do you think her body ever stopped giving her cravings for high-fructose corn syrup? I expect not.

We are at this point to the connection between diet and exercise. Exercise is good for us and can serve to keep our minds off food. The problem with it in connection with weight loss is that exercise increases our appetite. If our objective is to lose weight then exercise works at cross purposes with our intentions.

One thing you are told that you should not be told is that you can lose weight without being hungry. This is supposedly done by trying to fool your body into thinking that eating lots of cellulose (always called healthy vegetables) will keep your body satisfied. Again this is a way of trying to cheat your body and your body will have its revenge. In hunger pangs and edginess.

The usual diet starts you off with eating foods you don’t normally eat. There is a reason you don’t eat these foods, you don’t like them. Naturally you are going to have little resistance in going back to your usual patterns of eating when your body starts complaining. The other bad thing about the “different-food” diet is that you have to think about food: buying it, preparing it, eating it, and pretending all this is something that is good for you. Of course, what you should be thinking about if you have any hope of winning your struggle with your body is anything besides food.

One thing you might think about in regard to dieting was what a vegetarian I once knew said when asked how she could be (in not quite these words) “so pleasingly rounded.” Her reply was, “cookies and ice cream are vegetarian.” So perhaps we should be kind to our bodies and they will allow us to get and keep our bodies at a weight that works for both our mind and our body.

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