The idea that people can be healthy at any weight has gained credence in recent years, despite widespread evidence that obesity creates health risks. While the idea is attractive, it’s also dangerous because it can lull people who need to lose weight now into a false sense of security.
Almost everyone who has tried to lose weight has tasted the bitter pill of failure. That feeling you get when, despite all your desires to be healthier, to fit into sassier clothes or to shimmy through life (and into aeroplane seats) with greater ease and comfort, you just can’t stick with your diet and exercise plans for long enough to get there.
In 1980 just 10 per cent of Australian adults were obese; by 2012 this figure had risen to 25 per cent, among the highest in the world. The food industry lobby and their friends in government would have us believe this comes down to reduced personal responsibility for what we eat and how much we move.
It pays to be self-conscious sometimes. This one-minute video from In59second’s Richard Wiseman tells us that just looking at ourselves before we open the fridge can help us lose weight and make better food choices.
Losing weight for healthy living is difficult. What’s interesting is the role our brain plays in regulating our weight and why that makes it so difficult to shed kilos when we want to. Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt explains in this TED talk, and discusses how eating mindfully can help.
A week ago, I weighed 92.3 kilograms. Since then, I have been on a calorie-controlled diet comprised solely of food available at McDonald’s. I have been consuming no more than 1700 calories a day (around 7200 kilojoules), as well as scheduling 45 minutes of deliberate exercise a day. When I jumped on the scales this morning, I weighed . . .
For complicated reasons that will be fully explained here in a couple of weeks, I was in Bathurst, some 200 kilometres out of Sydney, first thing Saturday. Because it was early in the morning and I wasn’t near home or the office, I decided to get a coffee rather than an orange juice with my compulsory McDonald’s breakfast. This turned out to have unexpected consequences.