Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's not about the food

It's not about the food. That seems like a funny comment coming from a weight loss blogger that talks about nutrition and fitness all the time. There's no denying that the food you eat (or don't eat) is one of the key factors in your weight loss, gain or maintenance.

But, in my opinion, it's value is overplayed in the mindset it takes to stick to your goals.

Let's talk about what food is (in a fairly non-scientific way).

First and foremost, food is fuel. It helps fuel your body so that you can live and accomplish the tasks you need to do. Eat too much, and the extra is put into a holding tank. Eat less, and your body withdraws from that holding tank. Eat too much less and your body crashes and burns, since that holding tank seems to have a withdrawal limit. Carbohydrates give you quick, easily used fuel, while protein and fat take a bit longer for you body to break down, meaning you'll still be satisfied for longer. Of course, there's other nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but I'm not going to get too deeply into it.

Food's other role is as enjoyment. There's definitely satisfaction in eating all kinds of foods, healthy and less healthy. As humans, we have a tendency to crave sweet, fatty, and salty foods.

That's about all I'm going to say about food for the moment. And, quite frankly, that's all I need to say about it. I would be willing to bet that 98% of you already know enough to write a book.

To lose weight successfully, we have to stop seeing it as being all about the food. It's easy to think about food all the time when you are on a "diet". You think about what you should have, what you shouldn't have, how you're going to make it, when you're going to make it...

As a mindset, I don't think this is any healthier then just eating said food all the time.

The key is to take away the power food has in your life.

Don't get me wrong; I still fully support enjoying your food, and indulging in the good stuff every once in a while, but don't make your life about food.

This is why my goals for the month of June are free of references to food. At this point in my life, I am loving becoming more active and am eager to make it an increasingly large part of my life. That's not to say you have to embrace exercise. Focus on finishing a scrapbook, or on gardening, or build a bookshelf. Choose something else that is important to you and put your extra time and energy into that.

When it's time for a snack or a meal, prepare it and enjoy it to it's fullest. When it's not time, let it go, and don't think about points, calories, fat grams, etc.

I'll still talk about food in my blog from time to time, but it's not going to be a regular, almost daily thing like it was starting to become.


  1. Sounds like a plan, Deb. I agree that obsessing about food makes this w/l game a lot harder.

    As I've already said, I'll be interested in your triathlon training.

  2. Oh my. This is so hard for me, taking away the power food has in my life. I love food. I love reading about it, planning what I'm going to make and when and how. But it's really all encompassing and I can start to feel really crazy thinking about food all the time.

  3. I've been known to be an obsessor of the earlier years I learned to hate it; then I learned to really love it; finding balance in my relationship with food has been hard.

    You're right IMO...losing weight ISN"T all about food-it's so much more. For me it's accepting myself and knowing that I need to change. I also know that it isn't a diet I need but a life style change.