Every year over a million women (and men) cling on a diet plan to either get their ‘bikini-perfect’ or ‘kicking the winter bug’ body. It’s usually around this time of the year when every household has “New Year resolutions” sticky-taped to every mirror of the house. Everyone suddenly realises that this year is THE best time to do something about the flab under the arms or the unflattering tummy conditions. I usually blame the Christmas pudding for that one.
Come holiday season and the shopping trolleys are loaded with high G.I food and sugar-coated treats. Everyone has to put in that affordable bag of lollies in the shopping list, which is usually “for the guests, darling”! Oh Bullshit. Don’t blame the guests for your midnight snacking.
Now what happens with these New Year resolutions – they crash and burn – but i’ll get to that later.
They start really strong. They go something like this :-
You reduce your sugar intake by half. You ban alcohol from your routine (until Australia Day). You buy everything “fat-free”. You reduce your carb intake. You eat lots of salads. And most importantly… you start skipping meals.
Nodding so far? I thought so.
Bad news, kiddo. These are not only a waste of time, but it’s also not how you want it to be.
I’ll explain you why.
You skip meals – which means by night time your brain is so exhausted that it would probably start eating itself. And that is your justification to eat not one, but two dinners. You’d not eaten all day, right? A bag of chips, a handful of nuts, spoonfuls of ice-cream (straight from the tub), a bowl of cereal, few squares of chocolate (usually disguises to rows).
It’s like releasing a hungry lion in a poultry farm. Food heaven! Your stomach is happy but wait till your sugar binge reacts overnight in that belly and gives you a food hangover in the AM.
If the blood sugar levels spike and dip so often in the day, it’ll just leave you depressed and tired all the time. Heard of mood swings?
Here are some of the brain-approved myths:
When people think of carbs, they think white bread, rice, pasta, you know the nasty food group. So by cutting down on carbs, they immediately stop its consumption. They go NO-Carbs. But in reality, carbs is the most important food group to maintain our blood sugar level and avoid the regular visits of afternoon headaches. Our body needs carbs every four hours, whether it’s in the form of veggies, whole grains or whole fruits. There is a worldwide billion dollar diet industry that has ignited a bad reputation about carbs. We need carbs to function, to think, to talk, to tweet, to dance, to flirt – you get the point. It’s all a matter of what carbs you’re consuming, at what time of the day and in what quantity.
Now the “low fat” syndrome. That baby hit me hard. And there are still moments when I flirt between the idea of shoving a ‘99% fat free’ sorbet in the trolley or a delicious tub of ‘Double chocolate chip fudge brownie sundae delight heaven Oh God’. It’s a tough battle, really. People are under the impression that only “low fat” can make people lose weight. However quite contrary to that thought, ‘low fat’ has actually made people fat. When a considerable amount of fat is reduced from a tub of yogurt, giving its “98% fat free” logo, they are actually ratcheting up the sugar content to compensate for the lost flavour. Go see it for yourself in the supermarket. So when you’re downing several tubs of passionfruit yogurt in a day, it’s actually as good as eating an entire log of full cream, full sugar, full fat, full-everything ice-cream.
Have you ever wondered why soft drinks are always on special? Especially the bulk ones? Because producers are smart. They want their money and want to ruin your health (and teeth) in return. Some people also call it marketing strategy – but i’ll ignore that.
These food and health movements are incredibly powerful and brutally truthful in this day and age. Everyone has their own idea and concept about how to live a healthy life. But it’s just never enough for a health fanatic. I have been debating this concept of carbs, fat, sugar, glucose and body for years now. I have read a thousand too many articles and read a hundred-million books on diet and health. I am still confused, still contemplating and still trying to fight that “no-fat” crazy dude in my head.
We don’t need to make drastic food choices to enjoy a delicious meal. Healthy food should not be cringed at, it has feelings. Brown is way more delicious than white. One can never have too many veggies in the fridge. Green Tea is the bomb. Tinned anything belongs to ‘Tin food HELL’. Treat your body like a temple. Be kind by seeing what’s going in it. It deserves to be loved and not feel like you’ve stuffed a big, bloated ball in it. We don’t need to go on 5-day juice cleanse to feel beautiful. Love yourself. You’re not getting paid to get a Jessica Alba alike booty, so enjoy that steak!
We can all make conscious food and lifestyle choices this new year.
And that my friend, would be a food revolution AND resolution.
*** DISCLAIMER ***
This post is an abridged version of bookish information (over the years), my personal experiences and knowledge. Not intended to poke fingers at anyone buying Yoplait yogurt at the supermarket.
Image Credit 1. 2.