Dieting = exercise + restricting calories = success, right?  WRONG!

May 08, 2016

I found this snide comment online:

“I’m a fan of the controversial weight loss plan called “eat less, move more”. It doesn’t cost money, require any special foods, or pieces of technology so it’s understandably not very popular.”

It got me thinking (and a bit angry at how insensitive he was being). Here is my response:

Your approach isn’t popular because you are oversimplifying it. More than two thirds of the US population is either obese or overweight. If it was as simple as you state this wouldn’t be the case. Most people know what to do to stay healthy. Yet most don’t do so regularly. Why?

The problem is we are living in an age where we are evolutionarily setup to eat foods that aren’t mass produced. We are supposed to eat fruits, veggies, meat and some less processed grains.

More calorie dense foods are available

Most foods we ate in the past didn’t contain many calories (besides animal fat). You had to work hard to get enough calories to survive, much less to put on extra weight. If you found a cache of nutrition rich food your instinct was to gorge so you would be able to persist through when you weren’t able to find food at a later date.

Today we have calorie dense food available all the time. Our bodies and our minds are still wired to cache and store calories like there will be a period of famine right after our next feast. Only for most of us the famine never comes, our waistlines just expand.

Foods are created to be more addictive

Food can be incredibly addicting. Packaged and fast foods are created in a way so they are hard to resist. They represent a stockpile of calories, sodium and flavor that has never been available in the past. We as consumers are being presented with foods that didn’t exist in previous generations. We are being bombarded with marketing messages constantly to buy, eat, overindulge in each new chip/cracker/siracha combo. Some of us truly aren’t able to resist as we should.

Low quality ingredients are cheaper

Food megacorporations make more when they add cellulose and other fillers to food. They coverup the fillers with salt and the cheapest fats they can find. They do so because they are more interested in profits than the health of their customers. They don’t have our best interests in mind.

My prediction is unhealthy food will become vilified in the same way cigarettes are today. They will be labeled, taxed and monitored.