Home > Uncategorized > Losing Weight isn’t as easy as “eating less”

Losing Weight isn’t as easy as “eating less”

The daily politics did a segment on obesity & health and fitness in response to Andrew Lansley (Secretary of State for Health) telling fat people to “eat less”. To start off the debate, they had Emma Burnell who blogs over at Scarlet Standard. Her video piece was effectively a rehashing of our blog: The Personal is Political: What its like to be Morbidly Obese.

Her video piece was slightly different but the underlying message was exactly the same. One cracking line was “Telling obese people to eat less is like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking.”

The only problem with it, is that with alcoholism is that once they make that decision to stop drinking and/or get the help they need to stop, it is far easier to stop drinking alcohol as we don’t need it. However, with food you can’t quit that easily, you need food to survive and do you know what it doesn’t matter what food it is.

Derek Hatton on the Daily Politics show today was insensitive towards this subject as he said in effect the government had it right. All fat people need to do is eat less and exercise more. Whilst that is good advice, what he seems to forget is that people like me who are clinically obese have heard this advice over and over again. Some of us try, we fail, we feel bad about ourself then eat more in response to feeling bad about ourselves and so gain weight not lose it.

As someone who is clinically obese who lost 5.7% of their bodyweight then fell off the wagon & has recently climbed back on, I know it is far too simplistic to say “just eat less.” My dad is a doctor and my mum a midwife, I’ve had all the lectures about eating less and exercising more. I’ve had all the lectures about what I’m doing to my health. Yet I still managed to become obese. I have a body mass index(BMI) of 30.7 thats 0.8 away from being simply overweight.

The problem doesn’t come with eating less or exercising more, it comes with the psychological problems behind why we eat more and why we don’t exercise. There is a huge barrier that comes from our bodies as to why we eat more and don’t exercise. If sweets are a problem, like it is for me, my body/mind will tell me to go out and buy sweets. My body will want the instant gratification that comes from the sugar hit.

I lost 5.7% of my bodyweight in 2 months. The next 2 months, i stalled, mainly because i fell off the wagon and started eating sweets (main culprits were maltesers,galaxy counters and haribo). I didn’t put all the weight back on in fact i only gained back a pound. What made me jump off the wagon well it started after i lost 10lbs in the first month, thought this was easy, I would treat myself. It snowballed from there.

The next day, I thought about sweets, the more I thought about it, the more I could feel the sugar hit and then would give in. I wasn’t that bad in the second month, i still lost 4lbs. Whilst in the 3rd month and half of the 4th month i was much worse, I ate even more. My body was craving sweets. I was telling myself to stop but I would still go out and buy sweets.

About 2 weeks ago, I managed to stop. I don’t know how. I wish I did. I managed to flip a switch but I don’t know how. We need to learn the psychological processes as to why we become obese and how we stop including in that the chemical processes that happen. It will only be then that we can actually overcome the obesity problem once and for all.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. cat-on-a-bike
    October 25, 2011 at 14:48

    I feel for you. I really do. I am obese. I adore exercise (I’m at my happiest out on my bicycle all day, every day..), but due to arthritic knees, I’m limited in that. I do not eat unhealthily. I don’t have sweets/cakes etc in the house except for very *occasional* treats, as I know I could eat a lot of them and just because I can’t eat them with impunity shouldn’t mean my healthier-weighted family should have to avoid the occasional treat. So I don’t have them. I adore vegetables, I eat low-fat, high-fibre, cooking from scratch, grow my own veg, etc etc. I’m educated to post-grad level, understand nutrition… Yet I still get treated like a simplistic, worthless idiot who *obviously* lacks any self-control in particular by the medical profession. If you’re an alcoholic, drug-addict or smoker, you’ll be offered help to overcome your addiction. But if you’re fat, then you’re open to ridicule. My dear husband (who is not overweight) has repeatedly told the medical people that I do not eat junk, and do not binge/overeat, etc., yet even he is disbelieved. Quite frankly, life sucks.

    • October 25, 2011 at 15:04

      I know someone similar, who is large, i wouldn’t like to comment on her BMI but she is certainly overweight. We were talking about this at tennis and she said pretty much the same thing as you, she eats healthily but she is still large and she doesn’t know why.

      I think the good thing from her perspective is that she I believe is medically trained (not sure to what level) and her husband is a Doctor so she doesn’t get so vilified by the medical profession because they can stand their ground by saying they know as much as whatever Doctor or health professional they are debating with on this issue.

      I play a lot of tennis when its dry. My problem is fitness. I was out on Sunday – we were playing 2 against 1 with myself being the one. I made a conscious commitment that I was going to continuously move my feet and get in the right position. I have never moved my feet so much and I was so out of breath by the end. I’m one of those people who don’t enjoy being out of breath. That for me creates another problem in the fact I know i need to move my feet to be a better tennis player and to get fitter but I hate the out of breath feeling so my natural reaction is to avoid doing it.

  2. October 26, 2011 at 01:49

    Most people think they can just starve themselves to lose weight but you can’t do that because your body will go into something called starvation mode. What happens is your body will slowly eat itself. If you want to know why you can’t starve yourself to lose weight, this article gives a great explanation on it.


    • cat-on-a-bike
      October 26, 2011 at 16:11

      Thanks, plain review, but any obese person with half-a-brain already knows about starvation mode, just as any obese person with half-a-brain also knows that if you are actually seen putting even a morsel of food into your mouth and you are open to abusive comments about daring to eat. As an obese person, you can’t win.

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